"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Climate and conflicts complicate the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria

September 18, 2023 – The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria says it might not meet its goal of eradicating these three diseases by 2030 attributable to climate change, conflict, rising inequality and growing threats to human rights.

“By working together, the Global Fund partnership has saved 59 million lives over the past two decades,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, in a Press release which accompanied the publication of the fund Annual Report“Despite several record results in 2022, we will not achieve the 2030 targets unless we take extraordinary steps.”

The fund has recovered from a slowdown brought on by the international COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said, but is facing other problems.

Some diseases are spreading attributable to climate change, in keeping with the fund. Malaria is spreading in highland regions of Africa where it has previously been too cold for the mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Floods and cyclones are causing outbreaks in places like Malawi and Pakistan. Food insecurity and water shortages are forcing many individuals to flee, leaving them vulnerable to diseases like tuberculosis.

Due to the conflicts, existing health services are overwhelmed, prevention measures are disrupted and provide chains are collapsing, the fund's report said.

“In many countries, including Sudan, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Myanmar, the Global Fund partnership must overcome enormous challenges to ensure that the most vulnerable get the services they need,” the press release said.

The report lists some positive features. In 2022, HIV prevention services increased by 22% in comparison with 2021 and the number of individuals diagnosed and treated for TB increased by 26%. The variety of malaria cases treated increased by 11%.

Innovations would assist in the fight against these three diseases, the fund's statement said.

A vaginal ring that releases the antiretroviral drug dapivirine is a female-controlled measure designed to forestall the spread of HIV. New treatments and latest diagnostic tools equivalent to mobile X-rays and cheaper molecular diagnostics are getting used within the fight against tuberculosis. The spread of malaria is being slowed by way of dual-agent mosquito nets that mix the insecticides pyrethroid and chlorfenapyr.