05 May 2014 - Lahore, Pakistan - A high level mission to Pakistan last week by the heads of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria and the Stop TB Partnership was intended to be the first of many to demonstrate the shared vision both organizations have in eradicating tuberculosis.
Pakistan’s President Mamnoon Hussain met with Dr Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund who was accompanied by Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. The meeting was an occasion to discuss the Global Fund’s new funding model as an opportunity to ensure increased investments in Pakistan. The Global Fund has approved USD $250 million for the next three years to combat the three infectious diseases in the country. The progress and challenges in HIV and malaria, in addition to TB were also discussed.
The delegation also met with the National TB Control Programme and Stop TB Partnership in Pakistan who launched their National Strategic Plan for TB: Vision 2020 which details ambitious targets to reduce 50% of TB prevalence by 2025 in comparison to the prevalence of TB in 2012. Pakistan ranks 6th amongst the countries with the highest burden of TB in the world, and makes up about 44% of the TB burden in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
Speaking at the conclusion of the trip, Dr Ditiu said "We were inspired by the high-level political commitment made by the President and his vision for controlling TB, HIV/AIDS and malaria in the country."
"There is still a long way to go in finding and treating all the estimated TB cases but it was heartening to see the efforts being made to provide equitable health services to the poor, marginalized and vulnerable populations in the country."