Health sector stakeholders in Rwanda have acknowledged the impact of the Global Fund contribution in combating HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, amid celebration of 20 years of its existence.
The Global Fund provides 21% of all international financing for HIV programs and provides 73% of all international financing for TB as well as 56% of all international financing for malaria programs.
As the Global Fund marks its 20th anniversary, Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS and Health Promotion (RNGF on HIV/AIDS & HP) in partnership with associated stakeholders, organized a ceremony held on November 13, 2021, to celebrate the 20 years of life saving work to defeat HIV, TB and Malaria and Strengthening Health systems.
The event was an opportunity to tell the impact stories of the Global Fund in Rwanda and the role of development Partners on the success of the Global Fund in Rwanda.
“Before the Global Fund came to help us, there was no medicine, no help. People used to die saying that they are bewitched by neighbors. But the Global Fund made it possible for us to get back to life,” said Isabella Nshimiyimana, representative of people living with HIV/AIDS in Rwanda.
She continued: “With the Global Fund, we have had access to needed drugs, treatment services available for our members. By now the number of people dying of HIV/AIDS has dropped considerably. Through mobilizations, millions of lives have been saved, people were brought back to life. This is the light hope in our society. We really thank the Global Fund for saving our lives, and giving hope for the future”.
Since 2003, Rwanda has received approximately US$1.4 billion from the Global Fund for three diseases namely HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
“People are now living healthier lives thanks to Global Fund support and partnership. This celebration means light of hope for lives saved by the Global Fund over the last 20 years” Said Zachee Iyakaremye, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health
“As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Global Fund, we need to remind ourselves that only about eight years are remaining to meet the global targets to end the three diseases by 2030, and to achieve this we need a global solidarity and a strong partnership of all the stakeholders. Together let us mobilize a healthier future for all.” He added.
In countries where the Global Fund invests, AIDS-related deaths have dropped by 61% since the Global Fund was founded in 2002. TB deaths have dropped by 25% since the Global Fund was founded in 2002. Malaria deaths have dropped by 46% since the Global Fund was founded in 2002.
According to Omar Daair, the British High Commissioner to Rwanda, all stakeholders need to be more effective to relentlessly save lives.
“Nobody deserves to die from HIV, TB and Malaria. We believe firmly in the importance of strong & equitable health systems which help people live healthier lives, no matter where they are and who they are or how much they have. In the last 20 years, we have seen remarkable progress in the fight against these diseases. As we celebrate progress, lets continue to ask ourselves ‘how can we be more effective? How can we do even more? How can we do more to help the most vulnerable people?” He said.
The Global Fund invests US$4 billion a year to defeat HIV, TB and malaria.