In a letter released this week, more than 400 physicians and scientists called on Congress to increase the nation’s funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
The United States is the largest contributor to the fund to date, comprising a third of total funding. However, medical professionals are urging Congress to push those funds higher still, to $1.56 billion for fiscal year 2020 and $4.8 billion over the next three years — a 12 percent increase over previous contributions. Increasing resistance to antimicrobial drugs poses a growing challenge that will require specific training, strengthened prevention, surveillance, and supply chain responses to overcome.
“We are particularly concerned with the expanding global challenge of antimicrobial drug resistance,” the letter stated. “Deaths from drug-resistant TB account for a third of all antimicrobial resistance deaths in the world. In Southeast Asia, the spread of resistance to the most commonly used drug against malaria (artemisinin) threatens to undo hard-fought progress against the disease. Global Fund-supported programming helps fight drug resistance by scaling up prevention activities, optimized treatment, health professionals training, and supply line and data improvements. Stronger systems are then better able to detect and treat antimicrobial resistance, as well as identify and address emerging infectious diseases before they cross borders and become severe epidemics.”
The Global Fund has indicated a minimum of $14 billion as necessary for the next three years.