Africa: Private Sector Partners Step Up Fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria

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CAPE TOWN – Five private sector partners today announced new pledges for the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment during the World Economic Forum on Africa.

Goodbye Malaria, which is supported by Nando’s, an international restaurant group founded in South Africa, as well as other corporate partners, has pledged R85 million (about US$5.5 million) to the Global Fund to expand a grant that aims to eliminate cross-border malaria transmission in Mozambique, South Africa and Eswatini.

Project Last Mile, GBCHealth and Zenysis Technologies announced in-kind support and co-investments to increase the effectiveness of health programs through innovations. Africa Health Business has pledged to support the mobilization of African business. These co-investments will total more than US$23 million.  

“We can only succeed in our fight to end AIDS, TB and malaria by working with private sector partners,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “We need the private sector’s resources, innovation and know-how to counter the threat of drug resistance, to extend our reach and to build stronger health systems – all of which will save more lives.”

Today’s announcements represent diverse support for health solutions, with the private sector and other essential partners such as the South African Ministry of Health, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.     

“Being part of the private sector in countries that live with the devastating effects of these three diseases, it is with a sense of pride that Goodbye Malaria commits R85 million to the Global Fund, targeting malaria elimination in Southern Africa,” said Sherwin Charles, Co-founder and CEO of Goodbye Malaria. “This represents an overall increase of 55% over our contribution in the previous Replenishment. Further, our contribution will unlock additional funds from the £100 million malaria match funding of the UK government.”

African governments and other donors are investing billions of dollars to strengthen health systems and make affordable medicines available. Yet supply chains often struggle to get medicines and supplies to health facilities and people who need them most. To address this challenge, the Global Fund and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation joined with The Coca-Cola Company in 2010 to form Project Last Mile, and USAID joined in 2014. This public-private partnership leverages Coca-Cola’s logistical, supply chain management and marketing expertise to support African governments in delivering lifesaving medicines and supplies to the hardest-to-reach communities. In addition, The Coca-Cola Foundation made charitable contributions to Project Last Mile. Following an initial commitment of more than US$21 million by partners in 2014, Project Last Mile has provided support to 10 countries in Africa.

“I am delighted to announce that Project Last Mile will be renewed for another five years, allowing us to deepen our investment in countries where the partnership is currently active and launch at least five new projects,” said Maserame Mouyeme, Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director for Coca-Cola Southern and East Africa. “By removing obstacles in delivering medicines and accessing health services, we hope to save more lives faster. To achieve this objective, the partners collectively aspire to invest an additional US$20 million in financial and in-kind support.” 

Better data to inform health program decisions is essential to eliminating the diseases. However, data fragmentation is a barrier to delivering efficient and equitable health care. Zenysis, a data and artificial intelligence company, has built an online platform that can integrate data from any number of systems into a single unified view, providing decision-makers with a nearly real-time view of their health programs. Zenysis has invested more than US$2.5 million in five African countries since it partnered with the Global Fund in 2018.

“Zenysis will invest an additional US$3.5 million by the end of 2021 to help five more Global Fund-supported countries harness the power of big data and AI to transform their health systems,” said Jonathan Stambolis, CEO of Zenysis. “Our analytics software has the power to transform the fight against HIV, TB and malaria and our partnership with the Global Fund will ensure that technology benefits the countries that need it most.”

Building on the successful model of Project Last Mile, the Global Fund is partnering with GBCHealth to leverage its network of companies committed to investing their resources and capabilities to strengthen supply chain management across the globe. The new platform, Logistics for Health, will be coordinated by GBCHealth and is intended to grow to include a diverse range of sectors.

“The private sector has unparalleled knowledge and expertise to contribute to supply chain management,” said Nancy Wildfeir-Field, President of GBCHealth. “This new partnership represents GBCHealth’s and the private sector’s continued commitment to supporting the Global Fund in innovative ways, especially as it enters the next Replenishment. We believe this partnership creates new avenues for companies to tap into some of their core competencies and step up the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria.”  

Africa Health Business, a health consultancy based in Nairobi, announced it will support the Global Fund by working with businesses to increase their engagement in health. They aim to create public-private partnerships in Africa, build the voice and advocacy of business leaders, mobilize resources, and find innovative solutions to fight the three diseases.

“Africa Health Business is committed to deepen the engagement of private sector leaders to accelerate the end of HIV, TB and malaria as epidemics through strategic partnerships,” said Dr. Amit N. Thakker, Chairman and Co-founder of Africa Health Business.

France will host the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment pledging conference on 10 October 2019 in Lyon, France. The Global Fund seeks to raise at least US$14 billion – US$1 billion from the private sector – for the next three years. The funds will help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023.

Source: MSL Group



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