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The fight against AIDS, TB and malaria made a comeback after COVID – but not enough

Efforts to tackle AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria begin to recover after being hit hard last year COVID-19 According to a report, the pandemic in 2020, but the world is still not on the path to defeat these deadly diseases.

In its 2021 report released on Monday, the Global Fund to Fight aids, Tuberculosis and malaria said the number of people reached with treatment and prevention efforts increased last year after declining for the first time in nearly 20 years in 2020.

However, Peter Sands, head of the fund, a public/private coalition based in Geneva, said not all of the lost ground has been recovered.

“Most countries have done an impressive job of pulling back from the terrible disruption of 2020 … but we are not where we want to be. Many people are still dying from these diseases,” he told Reuters last week.

For example, the number treated for 19 percent drop in tuberculosis In 2020, up to 4.5 million. In 2021, that rose 12% to 5.3 million – still down from 5.5 million on pre-pandemic treatment. whereas Malaria And with AIDS programs exceeding 2019 levels, the impact of the pandemic means they are still far from the target of ending the diseases by 2030.

Sands also warned that the impact of the global food crisis was exacerbated by Russia’s invasion. Ukrainewill make the situation worse.

Infectious diseases are usually more fatal for people whose bodies are weakened by malnutrition, and they do not respond as well to treatment or prevention efforts. As such, Sands said it was “likely” that the fund would need to work with partners to provide more nutritional support than ever before to save lives.

The report estimates that the fund’s work with countries has saved nearly 50 million lives since its inception in 2002. It has spent $4.4 billion to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on its key sectors and fight the pandemic since March 2020.

To continue its work, the Global Fund is now targeting to raise $18 billion from governments, civil society and the private sector for its next three-year funding cycle. It has already raised more than a third of the total and a pledge conference is planned in the coming weeks.

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