Dengue, zika, chikungunya, malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases not only affect millions of people across the world every year but also pose a threat of epidemics from time to time. While protection from mosquitoes is important at individual level, governments worldwide are being asked to do their bit as well by allocating funds and resources for the fight against vector-borne diseases.
India has pledged a contribution of $22 million to the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and malaria (GFTAM) for the 6th replenishment cycle (2020-22), an increase of 10 per cent from the 5th cycle.
“India stands firm to its long-standing partnership with the Global Fund and its commitment to eliminate AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. India’s pledge for the Global Fund strongly demonstrates its strong political leadership to achieve the universal health for all and its equally strong commitment to work across borders to join hands in fighting the epidemics of these three diseases,” Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, said in a statement.
Dr Vardhan further explained that India had set a precedent for other donors to contribute generously for the cause.
India was the first implementing country to host a replenishment milestone of the Global Fund and now has become the first among G20, BRICS and implementer countries to announce the pledge for the 6th Replenishment Conference, he said.
He said the Indian government was adequately financing efforts to accomplish goals of TB, HIV and malaria elimination.
“With our increased pledge, India has inched a step closer in this direction by stepping up the Global Fund efforts to strengthen health systems and save 16 million more lives across the globe,” he said.
India shares a sustained partnership with the Global Fund since 2002 both as recipient and as a donor.
Global Fund support with investment of $2.0 billion so far has made significant contribution in attaining targets related to HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria reduction and escalating the fight against the diseases, he said.
In the current funding cycle (2018-21), the Global Fund has allocated $500 million to India. As a donor, India has contributed $46.5 million so far till 2019 including $20 million for the 5th replenishment.
Pertinently, earlier this year, international researchers had warned that 49 percent of the world’s population was at risk of being affected by dengue, chikungunya, zika, malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases by 2050.