UNICEF and the Global Fund today reinforced their long-standing partnership through a new agreement to better coordinate efforts aimed at reducing the burden of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria and improving the health of mothers, newborns, and children.
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake signed a new Memorandum of Understanding that emphasizes the importance of coordinating investments in commodities to prevent and treat HIV, tuberculosis and malaria with those designed to improve overall maternal, newborn, and child health.
“The Global Fund has helped expand access for millions of mothers and children to lifesaving commodities that prevent and treat HIV, TB, and malaria,” said Lake. “This new agreement will help governments integrate these critical investments with health services that support basic maternal, newborn, and child health. This integration will increase the effectiveness of both efforts and potentially save millions of lives.”
Specifically, the Global Fund and UNICEF agreed to jointly identify countries where HIV and malaria investments for mothers and children could be better aligned with investments in basic maternal, newborn and child health.
As a first step, these commodities could include iron and folic acid, tetanus vaccinations, syphilis screening and treatment for pregnant women, and antibiotics to treat pneumonia and oral rehydration salts and zinc to treat diarrheal disease in children.
Under the new agreement, the Global Fund and UNICEF will encourage governments and Country Coordinating Mechanisms to integrate packages of care and support for mothers and children, and to apply for Global Fund grants that align HIV, TB and malaria programming with broader maternal, newborn and child health efforts.
UNICEF will support governments that wish to review and revise national strategies to strengthen this alignment and will help mobilize additional funding where necessary to purchase supplies and equipment for the care of mothers, newborns and children.
“This partnership between UNICEF and the Global Fund strengthens what is already operating on the ground in many countries,” said Dybul. “We have much further to go, and by working together we can achieve tremendous progress for women and children around the world.”