Lyon – The Global Fund and Unitaid are celebrating innovation today, at a special gathering on the eve of the Global Fund’s 6th Replenishment Conference.
And for good reason: Without innovations supported and led by both organisations, it would take an estimated three extra years for the Global Fund to achieve its intended impact. Moreover, innovations supported by Unitaid and the Global Fund are projected to reach more than 100 million people every year from 2021 through 2023.
Tuesday’s gathering drew key figures from the global health community, countries, civil society, and donors including France, a major financier of global health. Speakers emphasized innovation’s essential role in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Global Fund and Unitaid have been working closely with countries and partners to ensure that the best innovations reach everyone, especially the most vulnerable. While Unitaid makes health products more suitable, effective, and affordable, the Global Fund and countries implement them on a large scale. Co-funded projects are introducing new-generation insecticide sprays and innovative bed nets to stop malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
“Innovation is essential if we are to end the epidemics,” said Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund. “We need to devise better diagnostics, prevention, treatment and delivery models and get them quickly to the people who need them.”
A Unitaid pilot proved that millions of paediatric malaria cases in the Sahel region of Africa could be prevented with four doses of oral medication per child. The Global Fund responded to the successful pilot by widely implementing the prevention method. Seasonal malaria chemoprevention is now protecting small children from malaria in 12 Sahel countries.
“Innovation is at the heart of Unitaid, and we have always worked hand in hand with the Global Fund,”Unitaid Executive Director Lelio Marmora said. “Together we have a moral obligation to guarantee that these innovations, when widely implemented, will improve the lives of all those in need.”
Together, #StepUpTheFight !
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