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TIPS ON MALARIA

  • HOW CAN MOSQUITOES BE CONTROLLED?

    Mosquitoes around the home can be reduced significantly by minimizing the amount of standing water available for mosquito breeding. Residents are urged to reduce standing water around the home in a variety of ways.

  • HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM MOSQUITO-BORN DISEASES?

    The best way is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.This can be accomplished using personal protecting  while outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Treated bed nets should be used sleeping. Mosquito repellent should be used when outdoor.

  • WHO ARE AT RISK?


    Nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of getting malaria. Pregnant women are particularly at risk of malaria. Children under 5 years are at high risk of malaria.
     

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Where there’s a will …..

By Rebecca Kwei - Ghana

Many stakeholders were devastated by the decision of the Global Fund Board to cancel the next round of funding AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and also to suspend any consideration for new funding until 2014.

The announcement at the meeting in Accra broke the hearts of representatives of the 150 countries that rely on the Global Fund because the decision could lead to a loss of the gains made so far in tackling those diseases.

The board came to this decision because of what it called deep uncertainties in future donor pledges in the face of expectations to disburse roughly $10 billion from 2011 to 2013 from earlier commitments.

Unhappy with the situation, Prof Jeffrey Sachs, a renowned economist, said the decision to cancel the next round of funding was “the single biggest setback” in fighting infectious diseases in the last decade and could result in a major scale down of programmes.

Speaking at the 60th annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) in Philadelphia, USA, Prof Sachs who is also a special advisor to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, urged health practitioners to make their voices “heard loudly” because if these cuts go through “it’s game over” for the Millennium Development Goals in 2015.

“The effective interventions, including ones that you have pioneered, are all at risk. Now not only are we not having a breakthrough, we are at the edge of collapse after 10 years of work” he added.

In an interview in Accra on how these developments would affect Ghana, the Director of Research and Development at the Ghana Health Service, Dr Abraham Hodgson, acknowledged that the Global Fund had helped in the success chalked in Ghana in the fight against HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria and there was need to sustain and build on it.

He said the non-availability of funds will adversely affect the progress made in all spheres of the three diseases and cause stagnation or reversal of progress made.

“We need to make a strong case for the decision to be reviewed and funds made available for the progress made to be sustained” Dr Hodgson said.

Fortunately, it seems the “voices” of practitioners in global health have been heard with the announcement in January this year by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen its financial commitment to the fund through a US$750 million promissory note.

"These are tough economic times, but that is no excuse for cutting aid to the world's poorest. The Global Fund is one of the most effective ways we invest our money every year" Bill Gates said when he announced the contribution in Davos, Switzerland.

The Gates Foundation has been a strong supporter of the Global Fund since its creation in 2002. It has previously contributed USD 650 million and the latest announcement brings its total investment in the Global Fund to US$1.4 billion.

If BMGF had renewed its $500 million 2006-2011 cash commitment, $100 million per year for five years would have been made available to the Global Fund. With a promissory note, $750 million is available immediately for the Global Fund to continue its lifesaving programmes.

Germany, which last year suspended contributions, has also pledged a EUR 50 million contribution tothe Global Fund to improve financial oversight and management.

Dirk Niebel, Germany’s Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, who announced this at a news conference in Berlin said the country has made the first quarterly payment of a EUR 200 million contribution this year.

In fact, things are looking up considering that Japan, a leading supporter of the Global Fund has also pledged a $340 million contribution to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

That country is now making aninitial payment of US$ 216 million for its 2012 contribution.

The Global Fund did forecast to have US$10 billion available between 2011 and 2013 to disburse for health programmes, $2 billion more than in the past three-year period.

However, this sum is still below the projected demand by countries receiving funding, and the Global Fund, together with its partners and advocacy organisations, will make a particular effort this year to increase the funding available by up to an additionalUS$2 billion by 2013.

The Global Fund is a unique, public-private partnership and international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. This partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities represents an innovative approach to international health financing.

The Global Fund’s model is based on the concepts of country ownership and performance-based funding, which means that people in countries implement their own programmes based on their priorities and the Global Fund provides financing on the condition that verifiable results are achieved.

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the main financier of programmes to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 22.6 billion for more than 1,000 programmes in 150 countries (as of 1 December 2011). To date, programmes supported by the Global Fund are providing AIDS treatment for 3.3 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 8.6 million people and 230 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria. The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organisations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.

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