International Community Must Harness Funds Needed To Control Infectious Diseases

“I think the most special thing about our current time is the incredible opportunity that scientific advances have provided in the field of global health, giving us the ability to completely control highly dangerous infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,” Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, writes in an opinion piece in the Huffington Post’s “The Big Push” blog. “If we can harness the funds needed, we can essentially take these diseases off the table as threats to greater development,” he continues, adding, “Timing is critical. If we do not start to act this year, we may miss that opportunity.”

“We need to redouble our efforts this year to make sure we’re raising the money we need to get this work done. We need to make a big push, to secure the funding we need,” Dybul states. “Paradoxically, just at the time when we are making such broad scientific advances in fighting these diseases, we also face global financial constraints,” he notes, adding that in order “to take full advantage of the new science,” “we must make our money count.” According to Dybul, “we need to focus on impact”; “have to combine every evidence-based approach that works to prevent the spread of disease”; “must be accountable and transparent”; “have to work together”; and “must always be learning.” He concludes, “[W]e know from experience that by working together, with shared responsibility, with clear mission focus, and with passion and compassion as global health citizens, these three diseases can be completely controlled and — with further scientific advancements — can actually be eliminated” (1/21).

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