19 May 2022 | Press releases

Unitaid marks 15th anniversary, celebrates greater equity in global health

Geneva – In advance of its 15th anniversary, Unitaid today announced the impact of its efforts to create better, faster, more equitable health responses.

In the past 15 years, Unitaid has unlocked access to more than 150 advances in health technologies, transforming care for the more than 100 million people each year who benefit from the products.

These include: the best and most widely used HIV treatments; the first-ever medicines for treating children with HIV and TB and preventing malaria; screen-and-treat solutions for cervical cancer; and all tools currently used in malaria prevention.

Unitaid has also taken a leadership role in the COVID-19 response as a key member of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), helping deliver the most coordinated global health effort of the past century.

With a total budget of less than 1% of the global investment needed for TB, HIV and malaria combined, Unitaid-supported products will generate more than US$5 billion in savings by 2030.

Unitaid delivers this impact by identifying breakthrough health products and addressing the barriers that limit their wide-scale use.

“Thanks to Unitaid, more people across Africa have access to the best HIV treatments at a fraction of the original price. Young children have been cured of tuberculosis with high-quality formulations that are easy to administer. Millions of young people are better protected against malaria through large-scale seasonal delivery of medicines, an approach that has dramatically reduced child mortality without raising costs,” said United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in a statement marking the anniversary.

“Unitaid has advanced the quality of care for hundreds of millions of people worldwide who benefit from the game-changing health innovations we introduced. But with 2030 targets looming and massive setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to overcome, Unitaid’s work is now more critical than ever,” said Dr Philippe Duneton, Executive Director of Unitaid.

“For 15 years, Unitaid has been supporting countries to scale up innovations that save lives. WHO is proud to work with Unitaid  to identify gaps and design interventions that are most needed to protect and promote health. By working to make sure innovations do not get stuck on their path to scale up, the entire global health system benefits from Unitaid’s model,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“I am delighted to join people from all around the world in congratulating Unitaid on 15 years of lifesaving work. Since its creation in 2006, Unitaid has been one of the most effective organizations working in global health and global development,” said former United States President Bill Clinton, founder of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

Unitaid was founded in 2006 by Brazil, Chile, France, Norway, and the United Kingdom to fight growing inequities in health. It has pioneered the introduction of critical interventions that are the mainstays of global health responses today.

Its funders have since grown to include Japan, the Republic of Korea, Spain and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with additional support in response to COVID-19 from Canada, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Wellcome.

Unitaid will mark its 15th anniversary at a high-level event on 22 May, during the World Health Assembly in Geneva, celebrating the achievements in global health delivered with its partners and galvanising momentum to tackle the challenges that remain.

Media contacts:

For more information and media requests:

Hervé Verhoosel, Head of Communications, M: +41 79 249 35 29, verhooselh@unitaid.who.int

Maggie Zander, Communications officer, M: +41 79 593 17 74, zanderm@unitaid.who.int

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