Nurse Margaret Ganga has worked in the health service for 38 years. Here she takes the blood pressure of Grace Banda, who had a Caesarian section after difficulties during labor. Lilongwe, Malawi. Credit: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Oxfam
In Malawi, 14 percent of the population are HIV positive.

Fund the Global Fund

The Global Fund for HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria works with governments and civil society in developing countries to improve services tackling these three diseases. Rich governments and institutions have pledged to fund the Global Fund and they need to keep this promise so the millions of poor HIV positive people can get the care and medicines they need and millions of new infections can be prevented.

Round 8 recently approved by the Global Fund board required a record $3bn to fund plans in countries around the world to improve health services, buy and distribute medicines and prevention products, train health workers and care for HIV positive people. So far only $300m has been pledged.  Rich governments need to step up and fully fund the Global Fund.

There has been real success in fighting the HIV epidemic through the Global Fund. In Malawi, 14 percent of the population are HIV positive. The Global Fund has enabled the Malawi government and put close to 130,000 people country-wide on Anti-retroviral therapy (ART) – increased from virtually no one on ARVs 5 years ago also thanks to the decision to make ARVs free.

But more needs to be done. Over 19 per cent of the Malawian government health budget in 2007/8 is for overall health and HIV/AIDS combined, however there are still 189,000 people still struggling to receive ART.  Malawi is a very poor country that depends heavily on aid for rich countries.  By funding the Global Fund, rich countries can help make HIV treatment a reality for every HIV positive person in Malawi. They can also enable the provision of prevention services and thus halt new infections.