Transition of TB program in Romania

Source: Regional Civil Society and Community Support, Coordination and Communication Platform – EECA

35 participants including civil society representatives, CCM members, Global Fund Portfolio Manager, experts from neighbouring countries and representatives of the governmental structures gathered in Bucharest on 13 – 14 of June at a workshop “Transition from the Global Fund support of TB program to national funding: understanding the role, opportunities and priorities for civil society in Romania” to discuss what they can do for a greater sustainability of the country’s responses to the TB and HIV epidemics.

Based on the Global Fund Board’s decision in November 2016 on the allocation of resources for the 2017-2019 allocation period, Romania has been allocated € 4,052,972 for tuberculosis and building resilient and sustainable systems for health. The implementation of this new TB grant in Romania formally started in March 2019 and it is planned to finish its implementation in March 2021. This grant is being considered as the last TB grant for the country to support the transition processes. Although the new Global Fund 2019 Eligibility List does mention Romania as being eligible for TB funding again, yet, the eligibility does not guarantee an allocation, and it is not clear if Romania will be allocated any further funding to support the TB response in 2020 – 2022.

Although Romania is ineligible to receive Global Fund funding for HIV response since 2010 when its last Global Fund HIV grant came to an end, the current “transition grant”, as well as all previous TB grants to Romania, includes a significant component on HIV prevention among key affected populations (KPs). Therefore, civil society mobilization for joint advocacy to ensure the domestic funding of HIV prevention activities among KPs is essential.

At the same time, according to the Global Fund’s Eligibility List 2019 Romania may be eligible for an allocation for HIV/AIDS for non-governmental or civil society organizations if the country demonstrates the barriers to providing funding for interventions for key populations, as supported by the country’s epidemiology. The Global Fund Secretariat will assess whether the criteria have been met at the time of determining allocations for the 2020-2022 allocation period. The decision on the countries‘ allocations within the next 2020-2022 allocation period to be made by the Global Fund Board in November 2019.

New publication from Eurasian Harm Reduction Association

EHRAThe Eurasian Harm Reduction Association (EHRA) presented its new publication “Getting to know the Civil Society and Eastern Europe and Central Asia Delegations to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. An Information note for Eastern Europe and Central Asia”. The publication is developed within the project of the EECA Regional Platform for Communication and Coordination.

This Information Note is an easy-to-use document which allows for greater understanding of the work and role of the Communities, Developed Country NGO, Developing Country NGOs and the Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) Delegations to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The EECA Delegation is dedicated to the causes and concerns of the region, both from a public sector and civil society perspective. The other three Delegations have specific mandates to bring to the Board the issues of civil society and all the communities of persons living with, and affected by, the three diseases in those countries eligible for Global Fund support.

Getting to know the Civil Society and Eastern Europe and Central Asia Delegations to the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

Whilst there are four distinct Delegations, these Global Fund Board representatives have similar practices for their internal functioning and in consulting with civil society and communities as well as established opportunities to engage with them. This document provides information concerning these key practices and opportunities. The communities and civil society organizations (CSO’s) in the EECA region will be able to use this document to better plan and coordinate their advocacy efforts and engage with their representatives to the Fund at the most opportune times and in strategic ways.

The Global Fund is the world’s largest financing organization for HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria prevention, treatment, care and support programs. The Fund’s purpose is to attract, leverage and invest additional resources to end the epidemics of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria to support attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) established by the United Nations. Since its founding in 2002, the Global Fund’s investments in the EECA region have contributed to considerable progress in combating three diseases as well as in developing enabling environments and the strengthening of health and community systems, making the Global Fund the major donor to support the HIV and TB response in the EECA region.

To read or download this publication follow this link>>>>

Global Fund Results Report

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria released a report today demonstrating that 27 million lives have been saved by the Global Fund partnership through the efforts of the Global Fund and its partners. This is proof of the effectiveness of the global commitment to tackle the world’s deadliest infectious diseases.

The Results Report 2018 includes key annual results achieved in countries where the Global Fund invests:

  • 17.5 million people received antiretroviral therapy for HIV.
  • 5 million people tested and treated for TB.
  • 197 million mosquito nets distributed to prevent malaria.

The progress comes against the backdrop of new threats to global health. Having reduced sharply since the peak of the epidemic, global HIV infection rates are now declining more slowly, and remain extremely high among key populations in some countries. Tuberculosis is now the leading cause of death from infectious diseases, with 1.7 million deaths per year, and the world is missing 4.1 million cases of TB every year – cases that go undiagnosed, untreated and unreported. In addition, progress against malaria has stalled. In 2016, there were 5 million more cases of malaria than 2015. With growing resistance in drugs to treat malaria and in insecticides for mosquito nets, efforts to control malaria are at stake.

Independent opinions state that if the world only maintains current levels of investments and programming against the three epidemics, internationally agreed targets for 2025 and 2030 will be unattainable.

The world risks losing control of all three epidemics. A resurgence will cost countless lives, undermine economic and human development, and threaten the health security for all people on the planet.

As the leading multilateral organization that invests in ending the 3 epidemics, funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in its Sixth Replenishment needs to increase by more than 20% to ensure a fund of between $16.8 and $18 billion for 2020 to 2022.

The Results Report 2018 is available from the Global Fund webpage following this link>>>

Senior Level Policy Dialogue

The Senior Level Policy Dialogue “Addressing HIV and TB Challenges: from Donor Support to Sustainable Health Systems” was organised in Tallinn, Estonia on 12 and 13 December 2017 as an official event in the programme of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The event, organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and National Institute for Health Development from Estonia, WHO European Region, UNAIDS, and the Global Fund, brought together representatives of the health and financial ministries of Europe, the Balkan and Eastern Partnership countries, representatives of the European Commission, international organisations, as well as community representatives and institutions involved in funding programmes and offering services to tackle HIV and TB.

In Eastern Europe the fight against HIV and tuberculosis has largely been funded through international organisations (such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria). However, this kind of funding is not sustainable in the long term.

The participants searched for ways to smoothly transition from funding through foreign aid programmes to sustainable state funding. They outlined the best practices, challenges, opportunities and risks related to integrating HIV and TB programmes into a national health system. The discussions included the role and responsibility of various institutions and organisations in stopping the HIV and TB epidemics.

DPNSEE and 4 participating member organisations representatives (Cazas, Juventas, Margina and Viktorija) actively contributed to the meeting, including two panellists who gave a specific insight in the situation of the region. Both the experiences from South East Europe and challenges we face were presented, emphasized and mentioned by many participants. The meeting was also a good opportunity to establish contacts and generate ideas for future cooperation.

Participation of the SEE representatives was made possible by generous support from the Open Society Foundation.

EECA Civil Society Meeting

Preparing for the regional meeting “Addressing HIV and TB Challenges: from Donor Support to Sustainable Health Systems”, civil society organisations from Eastern Europe and Central Asia met on 11 December in Tallinn. Aim of the meeting was to consolidate and build opportunities for cooperation in advocacy efforts of civil society representatives during and after the meeting.

The pre-meeting gathered 14 representatives from civil society and community organisations mainly from South East European countries and regional community networks. Unfortunately because of heavy snow in the departure airports and delayed flights a lot of participants could not join.

There were two main issues of the meeting which of great importance for civil society and communities: transitioning of services to domestic funding and integration of it into the health and social care system.

The structure of the outcome document was presented and discussed. Next week key points from the document could be used for the plenary meeting of the Civil Society Forum of HIV, Hepatitis and Tuberculosis.