|PAHO Director discusses expanded cooperation with Global Fund|
PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne met this week (Feb. 11) with Silvio Martinelli, Regional Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, to discuss cooperation in prevention, control and treatment of HIV, TB and malaria and in improving regional participation in the Global Fund’s governance.
Martinelli said the Global Fund views PAHO as a “strategic partner” in Latin America and the Caribbean. Global Fund projects and programs have benefitted from PAHO’s regional coordination and country-level technical cooperation on HIV, TB and malaria, for health systems strengthening and in related areas. Recent examples include PAHO’s helping member countries align their HIV treatment programs with WHO recommendations and its procurement of medicines on behalf of member countries through the PAHO Strategic Fund.
PAHO and the Global Fund have also collaborated directly, most recently in developing a tool for monitoring antiretroviral stocks (to prevent “stock-outs”) and on a new project addressing HIV in immigrant communities on the island of Hispaniola.
PAHO and the Global Fund have also partnered to increase the engagement of Latin American and Caribbean countries in the Global Fund’s governance. Starting in 2011, PAHO and the Fund have organized annual information sessions for PAHO Member States during the meetings of the Directing Council. Martinelli said PAHO is playing an important role in encouraging strong participation by countries in the Global Fund’s Board.
PAHO and the Global Fund are also discussing potential mechanisms to support an initiative to eliminate malaria in Central America and Hispaniola, a goal considered challenging but feasible given the countries’ recent progress against the disease.
Dr. Etienne said an area where she would like to see expanded cooperation between PAHO and the Global Fund is in disseminating lessons learned from PAHO member countries’ experiences with HIV, TB and malaria to benefit other regions.
“We have countries that have made significant strides in their work,” said Dr. Etienne. “We have to capture this work and make it available to the Fund and other countries.”
Since the Global Fund was launched in 2001, 33 countries in the Americas have received grants from the Fund worth a total of nearly $2 billion.