$2.4 billion Global Fund to fight disease | world | Hindustan Times
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$2.4 billion Global Fund to fight disease

world Updated: Nov 16, 2009 14:12 IST
Sanchita Sharma

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved grants worth US$2.4 billion over two years. With this grant, the Global Fund has approved US$18.4 billion for 144 countries since it was created in 2002 to fight infectious diseases in developing countries.

India has been granted $128,583,221 for tuberculosis, malaria and HIV. $69,477,410, has been approved for tuberculosis projects over 2 years, with malaria getting a commitment of $38,105,605, and HIV, of $21,000,206.

This is the ninth time the Global Fund Board approved new proposals to support country programmes fighting the three diseases. The total two-year value of the programs recommended for funding was US $2.4 billion; the second largest -ever approved by the Global Fund, following a US $2.75 billion round in 2008. The next round of grants will be launched in May 2010.

“These grants are based on the countries’ own needs and priorities and they are therefore a particularly effective source of financing,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ethiopian Health Minister and chair of the Global Fund Board.

India has used Global Fund grants to upscale its nationwide antiretroviral (ARV) treatment programme for people with HIV and AIDS. In three years, the number of people on free antiretroviral drugs used to treat the infection rose from 24,000 to more than 233,000. In India, 2.31 million people have HIV and AIDS.

Over 1.9 million of the world’s 9.1 million people with tuberculosis live in India, but Multidrug Resistant TB (MDR-TB) is increasing. The new funding will be used to treat MDR-TB, which has a prevalence of 3 per cent in new cases and 12-17 per cent in re-treatment cases.

India has an estimated 10.6 million annual cases of malaria, with 1,044.7 million people at risk of malaria. The mosquito-borne disease causes 1,000 deaths, mostly in Assam, Orissa and West Bengal. Almost all deaths and 44.3 per cent of all cases in India are caused by the P falciparum strain.