The COVID-19 pandemic is jeopardising progress made on tuberculosis (TB), HIV and malaria, affecting countries’ ability to carry out routine medical care and diagnosis, and setting the world further off-target to end the three diseases by 2030. The ‘secondary impacts’ of the COVID-19 pandemic – the effect of lock-downs and diverting attention and resources away from these existing health emergencies – is drastically reducing people's access to diagnosis and treatment in already vulnerable communities, and is predicted to cause more deaths than the Coronavirus itself.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is well placed to work with many lower- and middle-income countries, both to support their response to COVID-19, and to minimise disruption to existing programmes to fight the three diseases. But this isn’t possible without additional funding. The UK Government now has an opportunity to join other countries and channel a portion of COVID-19 funding through the Global Fund, so that it can use its existing infrastructure to respond efficiently to the pandemic, and maintain its vital ongoing work.
Support for this kind of international collaboration is needed from across the political spectrum to help end the pandemic and prevent millions of additional deaths from TB, HIV and malaria. This month, we are asking you to contact your MP to gain support for continuing the fight against the three diseases as part of the COVID-19 response.
Watch the our monthly conference call back here.