The Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria has posted a video of three African health ministers talking about the Global Fund in Rwanda, Botswana and Lesotho. The three women, Mphu Keneiloe Ramatlapeng, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Lesotho; Joy Phumaphi, former Health Minister, Botswana and former World Bank Vice President; and Agnes Binagwaho, Permanent Secretary of Health, Rwanda and Chair of Rwanda’s Country Coordinating Mechanism, share their experiences of Global Fund financing from the perspective of grant holders in Sub-Saharan Africa, the region most affected by HIV.
They tell a compelling story. Mphu, who says she can “only sing praises of the Global Fund”, tells us that Global Fund financing has allowed them to achieve more than they could have imagined was possible, explaining, “We were able to do work that we thought we would only accomplish in three years over one year. We were able to introduce even what we thought was very complicated which is the pediatric HIV/AIDs rural programme. ”
Joy tells us that the “biggest strength [of the Global Fund] of course has to be its ability to mobilise resources and to channnel those resources in a quick, simple and effective manner for countries to be able to use.”
When asked asked what would happen if extra funding isn’t provided, Joy says “We’ve got 33.4 million people now who are living with the virus. This is exponentially much bigger a number than we had in 2000. We are going to have all the gains that we have made in prevention of mother-to-child transmission we are going to lose. So any hope we had of an HIV-free generation is going to be out the window. ”
These women are perfect examples of what the Global Fund has achieved and drive home the point of what would happen if the Global Fund isn’t adequately replenished. We encourage you to watch the video on the Global Fund’s website: http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/savinglives/rwanda/hiv2/