SWITZERLAND — The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria have reaffirmed their commitment to collaboration by signing a new and revised Strategic Framework.

This five-year framework builds upon the previous agreement signed in 2018 and aims to strengthen health systems, enhance collaboration, and maximize impact in addressing major communicable diseases at country, regional, and global levels.

Aligned with the 2023-2028 Global Fund Strategy and the WHO General Programme of Work, the framework places communities at the forefront of the health response while addressing challenges posed by climate change and pandemic preparedness.

It also aligns with broader collaboration platforms aimed at achieving health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, emphasized the importance of collaboration between the two organizations, particularly amidst the strains and pressures on global health budgets.

He stated that stronger collaboration is crucial in light of the slowing progress towards ending the AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria epidemics and the emergence of new health challenges.

Peter Sands, the Executive Director of the Global Fund, underscored the significance of the partnership between the Global Fund and WHO, especially in the face of intersecting global crises such as conflicts and climate change.

He emphasized the need to collaborate closely with national governments and other trusted partners to strengthen local health systems and address the health needs of vulnerable populations.

The ongoing collaboration between WHO and the Global Fund has already yielded significant achievements at the country level.

For instance, differentiated service delivery for HIV testing, treatment, and care has been implemented more efficiently in 20 countries, leading to improved access and outcomes.

Collaboration has also facilitated early guidance and surveys on dual testing for COVID-19 and tuberculosis, enabling better detection and management of TB cases.

Strategic initiatives on malaria have made notable progress towards malaria elimination, with eight countries being certified malaria-free since 2018 and several others preparing for certification in the coming years.

Additionally, joint efforts have supported the development of evidence-based national strategic plans aligned with WHO guidelines, serving as the basis for funding requests to the Global Fund.

The new Strategic Framework for Collaboration will further strengthen and extend collaboration between WHO and the Global Fund.

It encompasses 35 areas of collaboration divided into four categories: Health policies and normative guidance, Advocacy and health governance, Health products and innovations, and Technical support and capacity building.

By leveraging their respective strengths, the organizations aim to accelerate progress in ending AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria epidemics while building resilient health systems capable of responding to future emergencies.

However, despite these achievements, there is still much work to be done to accelerate progress and address the remaining challenges.

The partnership recognizes the importance of ongoing collaboration in areas such as global health financing, health system development, and emergency response preparedness to achieve their shared goals.

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