Harper Government supports innovation in the fight against tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS

May 13, 2013 - Canada will continue to be a leader in the fight against three of the world's most devastating diseases: tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS, announced the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, following a meeting with Mark Dybul, the new Executive Director for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

"Canada plays a leadership role on the world stage in the fight against deadly diseases such as malaria, and this will continue," said Minister Fantino. "By supporting the Global Fund, we are helping to save the lives of mothers, newborns, and young children who are particularly vulnerable to tuberculosismalaria and HIV/AIDS."

To further demonstrate Canada's commitment, Minister Fantino today announced additional funding to the Global Fund's Affordable Medicines Facilities for malaria (AMFm). The goal of the AMFm is to save lives by making the most effective malaria medicine, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), readily available to patients. Through an innovative approach involving manufacturers and private-sector buyers, the AMFm works to reduce the price and increase the availability of ACTs in private-sector outlets, a key source of medicine in many developing countries. With the support from Canada and other international donors, an estimated 43,000 lives are expected to be saved through this initiative in 2013, through the provision of approximately 120 million treatments of the most effective malaria medicine.

"Canada has been a great supporter of the Global Fund since its inception in 2002," said Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. "The Global Fund and CIDA also work in close collaboration in many African countries and have achieved remarkable results in the fight against the three diseases. Working together, we can defeat these pandemics."

Canada has supported the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria since its inception. The Global Fund was created to dramatically increase resources to fight these diseases. The organization invests in large-scale prevention, treatment, and care programs, and supports national health systems and health workers in the world's poorest regions. The Global Fund has increased access to life-saving drugs for those most in need and has saved an estimated 8.7 million lives to date, including some 100,000 lives per month in recent years.

In the fight against tuberculosis (TB), Canada has been a significant supporter of the Global Fund and in turn, the Global Fund is the leading international donor, providing an estimated 82 percent of all international funding for TB. Results for TB to date include:

  • detection and treatment of 9.7 million cases of TB;
  • treatment of 64,000 people for multi-drug-resistant TB, which remains a major risk globally; and
  • delivery of 5.2 million TB/HIV services (such as screening for co-infections) — more than double the number reported at the end of 2010.

Economic Action Plan 2013 reaffirms Canada's commitment to expanding prevention, care and treatment for those most vulnerable to TB, malaria and HIV/AIDS. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation through such initiatives as supporting the health of those most in need, and help achieve greater efficiency, accountability, and focus to continue to improve the lives of people in need around the world.

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For more information, media should contact:

Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: danielbezalel.richardsen@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @CIDA_CA

Backgrounder

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria's Affordable Medicine Facilities – malaria

Minister Fantino announced today that Canada is providing an additional $20 million in support to the Affordable Medicines Facilities for malaria (AMFm) initiative, managed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, bringing Canada's total support to this initiative to $40 million since 2012.

The goal of the AMFm is to save lives by making the most effective malaria medicine, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), readily available to patients. Through an innovative approach involving manufacturers and private sector buyers, the AMFm works to reduce the price and increase the availability of ACTs in private sector outlets, a key source of medicine in many developing countries.

As part of the AMFm, recipient countries carry out activities that promote safe and proper use of ACTs. These activities include training, supervision, and marketing and information campaigns. They also include special efforts to reach more vulnerable populations to ensure that they are more aware of the effectiveness of ACTs. The program is currently operating in eight countries: Cambodia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Support to this initiative is well aligned with CIDA's Strategy to Secure the Future of Children and Youth, as well as Canada's commitment to the Muskoka Initiative, given that children under the age of five and pregnant women have the highest vulnerability to malaria. The AMFm is in line with the Harper Government's engagement with the private sector as a key development partner, as it recognizes the significant role of the private sector in the distribution of malaria medicine.

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, aims to dramatically increase resources to fight three of the world's most devastating diseases and to direct those resources to areas of greatest need. With support from its partners, including the Harper Government, the Global Fund has supported HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria programs in 151 countries.

In the area of HIV/AIDS, programs supported by the fund are currently providing antiretroviral therapy to 4.2 million people to treat HIV. In the fight against malaria, recipients of Global Fund grants have distributed 310 million insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria and have treated 260 million cases of malaria.