The sixth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria opens in Lyon under the patronage of French President, Emmanuel Macron.
Another important page on the fight against three diseases; HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria opens as world leaders meet in an international conference in the city of Lyon, France from October 09 to 10, 2019. Organised by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and presided over by French President, Emmanuel Macron, the conference which will be meeting in its sixth session is targeting to raise at least 14 billion US dollars (about FCFA 8,360 billion), an amount expected to give a significant boost to the fight against the pandemic. The replenishment conference organised every three years, is once more another occasion for the Global Fund to remind the world as a whole on the need to step up the fight and to underscore that the money raised will help in saving the lives of about 16 million people, avoiding 234 new infections and helping the world get back on track to end these diseases. Of the at least 14 billion dollars, the private sector is being urged to mobilize at least 1 billion dollars as its own humble contribution in the fight.
The Lyon conference is a logical follow up of the 2015 decision by World leaders to adopt the health component of the Sustainable Development Goals which sets out to promote health for all identifying the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as strategic priorities that must be eliminated by 2030. This can only happen if more resources are mobilised and to do this, it requires a serious global commitment. This commitment was certainly triggered by the alarming deaths registered so far and which are the handiwork of these three diseases. Statistics for 2018 alone indicate that 37.9 million people globally were living with HIV while 770,000 died from AIDS-related illnesses. Tuberculosis, according to recent reports, appears to be the most deadly infectious disease in the world today registering at least 10 million new ailments every year and 1.8 million deaths annually. Malaria on its part is said to have infected 216 million people in 2018, killing 445,000 people, 285,000 of which are children of less than five.
As the city of Lyon tidies up its environment to welcome participants at the sixth conference, hopes remain high on the impact this global commitment will have in significantly reducing the number of deaths recorded by these diseases. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was created in 2002 on the initiative of France, the European Union and G7 to raise, manage and invest the world's money to respond to three of the deadliest infectious diseases the world has ever known. The mission of the fund is to invest the world's money to defeat these three diseases. The 14 billion dollars once raised will enable the Global Fund to save the lives of about 16 million people between 2021 and 2023 and accelerate the universal health coverage programme, among others. The Lyon conference is coming to concretise the campaign launched in India in February, 2019 and to try to obtain financial engagements from donors knowing that the Global Fund has already achieved much in the fight, investing about 65 per cent of the funds in countries of the third world where HIV/AIDS and malaria have the highest concentration