21 January 2013

Africa: Mark Dybul Begins As Executive Director of the Global Fund

Geneva — Mark Dybul took charge today as Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, promising to accelerate the organization's efforts to defeat these three highly infectious diseases by working closely with partners.

Dr. Dybul outlined an ambitious and energetic agenda for the coming year. The Global Fund will launch a new funding model in February, allowing the Global Fund to invest more strategically, engage implementers and partners more effectively and achieve greater impact in a way that improves the health and the lives of women and men and children all over the world.

Dr. Dybul said he plans to work hard to spread the word on why investing in this fight is so important, why preventing and treating infectious diseases are so critical, and why the partnership of the Global Fund offers tremendous value for money. In 2013, the Global Fund will appeal to governments and other donors for financial resources needed for programs from 2014 to 2016. Dr. Dybul said a big push is needed.

"With funding, we can defeat AIDS, TB and malaria," said Dr. Dybul. "Science has given us the tools to alter the trajectory, and then completely control these three terrible diseases. But science will only take us so far. We need the funding to support programs that enable health workers to reach the women and men and children who need treatment. We know how to do it. But we have to work together."

Global Fund investments have contributed to dramatic declines in deaths and infections from the three epidemics. HIV transmission rates are falling in nearly every region, and where treatment is available, the death rate is also falling. TB mortality has fallen by more than a third since the 1990s. Insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria have been made broadly available in affected regions, nearing universal access in many countries in Africa.

"We have made tremendous progress in the past ten years, and we can't stop now," said Dr. Dybul. "We are at a critical moment. Our gains will be lost if we do not move forward to defeat these diseases. We have a historic opportunity to completely control these diseases. We need to seize the moment."

Simon Bland, Chair of the Global Fund Board said: "We are delighted to welcome Mark to the Global Fund today. We share his excitement and commitment to defeating the three diseases, and we look forward to working with him over the coming years."

Dr. Dybul also expressed personal excitement about joining the Global Fund.

"This is an amazing institution," he said. "Everywhere I go, people tell me how they admire the Global Fund. The quality of the work done by the staff, their dedication and deep commitment to service, are superb. The Global Fund's reputation for excellence goes far and wide."

Dr. Dybul also expressed gratitude to the Global Fund staff who worked to transform the organization over the past year.

"I am really grateful to everyone who worked extra hard to manage a successful transformation and make the changes needed to prepare us for the next stage," he said. "We now have an outstanding management team, a highly-motivated staff, and a thriving partnership with a broad network of people and organizations as determined as we are."

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