Africa: Global Fund Executive Director Calls for Focused Action to Fight Infectious Disease

Oslo — Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said today that concentrated action will achieve significantly greater impact on infectious diseases that threaten maternal and child health.

"We need to move past the tyranny of averages," said Dr. Dybul. "We all see country and regional average rates of HIV, TB and malaria, but they mask micro-hyper-epidemics where transmission rates are very high.

A micro-hyper epidemic is an outbreak of disease that is highly concentrated among a part of the population, putting a wider population at risk of infection.

"By focusing high-impact interventions where new infections are occurring, countries will get the biggest bang for the buck. We can support them to control major killers - preventing many millions of new infections, and saving millions of lives. That will also save billions of dollars."

Dr. Dybul was speaking at a global health conference in Oslo entitled, "Accelerating Progress: Saving Women's and Children's Lives in the Coming Decade." In a thematic session on "How to get more health for the money," Dr. Dybul took part in a discussion focused on commodity supply and distribution.

The Global Fund is actively engaged with partners in ex

"We need to move past the tyranny of averages," said Dr. Dybul. "We all see country and regional average rates of HIV, TB and malaria, but they mask micro-hyper-epidemics where transmission rates are very high.

A micro-hyper epidemic is an outbreak of disease that is highly concentrated among a part of the population, putting a wider population at risk of infection.

"By focusing high-impact interventions where new infections are occurr

panding the available evidence base on costs and efficiency, ensuring that up-to-date information is incorporated into policy-making, forecasting, and funding decisions.

The Global Fund's new funding model, which begins this year, provides the foundation for further improvements in value for money, including improved incentives for countries to prioritize interventions and resource usage within indicative funding ranges.

The Global Fund has embarked on a number of strategic actions to maximize its investments on health products, including the establishment of its pooled procurement mechanism in 2009 and adoption of a market shaping strategy in 2011.

From June 2009, when the pooled procurement mechanism became operational, until the end of 2012, orders for more than US$1 billion in health products were placed to procure more than 550 million doses of anti-retrovirals, 120 million bed nets, and 77 million doses of ACTs. Significant savings in both unit pricing and freight have been achieved.

The market shaping strategy includes a number of elements to attain better value for money in the procurement of health products for children, where the Global Fund is working with partners including UNITAID, CHAI, UNICEF, PEPFAR and MSF to maximize the availability and affordability of pediatric anti-retrovirals.

Several other global health leaders also spoke at the conference, includes Bill Gates, co-founder and co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Catherine Gotani Hara, Minister of Health from Malawi; Muhammad Pate, Minister for State for Health in Nigeria; Anders Nordström, Ambassador for Global Health for Sweden, and many others.

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