Blog Archives

The Global Fund: A Decade Later and Still Providing Hope

A decade ago on January 28, 2002, The Global Fund was created in order to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  The Global Fund is an international financing organization that was designated to raise and distribute money to combat these life-threatening diseases in developing countries.

According to an article from the Huffington Post, the Global Fund has provided 6.6 million people with life-saving antiretrovirals for AIDS, has prevented 4.1 million deaths from tuberculosis, and has decreased deaths of malaria by 25% in developing countries in the past ten years.

The President of the United Nations Foundation, Timothy E, Wirth, released a statement last week praising the Global Fund for all of their hard work and success over the last decade, saying:

‘The UN Foundation has been proud to partner with Product (RED) to raise more than $57 million for the Global Fund, and with the United Methodist Church in its Imagine No Malaria campaign, as well as the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and Lutheran World Relief in their Lutheran Malaria Initiative, which could result in up to $41 million for the Global Fund.”

Wirth went on to say that by reconfirming our commitment to help those in need, we must support their efforts to treat people battling AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in the most affected areas of the world.

“Investing in the Global Fund is in the best interest of us all. It will help improve the lives of millions of people and help ensure global stability and progress” said Wirth.

While the Global Fund has helped millions of people over the last ten years, the Global Fund board has canceled the next round of funding and needs donors to step up because any set back in their progress could be detrimental to millions of lives.

Already, supporters from around the world have vowed to assist the Global Fund during their new grant period. According to the New York Times, on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Bill Gates donated $750 million on behalf of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Even Japan, after a devastating year with the tsunami and earthquake, donated $800 million to the fund in efforts to challenge others donors to take a stand for a good cause.

Get motivated to do what you can to make an impact on these absolutely preventable diseases by watching the video below and share with us some of the ideas you have in our comments section.

-Alyson R.

Focus On Our Future: Week of 6/27 News Roundup

A lot of focus was put on the future of the world and a push for youth empowerment this week, as events and concerns of the UN meshed in sculpting hope. The week started with the official announcement of the eradication of rinderpest, marking the end of a disease that has been around for centuries. With this huge leap over an obstacle of the past, UNDP  looks towards the success of the Millennium Development Goals for the future. MDG #6 gives hope for the eradication of other diseases like HIV/AIDS and malaria. This week unfortunately brought about a new challenge, as the HIV/AIDS funding in Massachusetts has been cut by $1.5 million dollars for the 2012 year by the state legislature. However, there is still a lot of hope for MDG #6, as organizations like AIDS  Action Committee are working hard on local advocacy efforts and students just this week introduced a new app that can determine whether a person has malaria from a smartphone. This app is said to have the potential to be used as an incredible tool in saving lives.  Campaigns like the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets also have very tangible impacts on ending malaria.

Going along with the incredible advances that can be made with technology, this week on June 30th the world celebrated Social Media Day 2011The impact that social media has these days on international issues has been undeniable, especially in relation to coordinating massive riots and exposing human rights abuses from Egypt to Libya to Iran.

As we look towards a future sure to be filled with further developments in social media, the world and the UN this week recognized the development of children (and future Facebookers and Tweeters). The UNRWA supported children in the Summer Games in Gaza this week to give these children the opportunity to impact change of Palestine’s relationship with Israel as they flew kites to make a stand and also break the world record for kite flying, giving them the inspiration to always strive. In Africa, the UN encouraged the involvement of children in society through education and the work force at the annual State of the African Union (AU) summit, which is being held in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, and whose theme is youth empowerment for sustainable development.  With a focus on young women, the UN supported the start of the Women’s World Cup 2011 this week in Germany with a push for women to have more roles in our global society.  Education is the key to a stronger future for our youth, and this is projected to be a top priority at the UN Economic and Social Council‘s meeting next week, as Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon discussed his concern of children in dangerous environments in the world this week.  It’s no doubt that a focus on youth is important, as youth today will be the leaders, researchers, educators and world citizens of our future.  We look forward to the world of changes that is to come, and hope to see continued developments in the coming days, weeks and months.

Stay tuned next Friday for the next weekly roundup!

-Cara

Malaria No More Today (and every day after)!

If you have not been aware, now you know that April 25th is World Malaria Day! It is a day to commemorate global efforts to control malaria, examining the progress that has been made toward malaria elimination and to renew efforts toward achieving the target of zero malaria deaths by 2015.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease widespread in tropical and subtropical regions including much of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and the Americas. The disease causes symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases progressing to coma, and even death.

Malaria transmission can be reduced by preventing mosquito bites by distribution of inexpensive mosquito nets and insect repellents, or by mosquito-control measures such as spraying insecticides inside houses and draining standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

However, hundreds of thousands of people are still contracting malaria and many of these people are unable to access appropriate and timely, treatment.

All over sub-Saharan Africa, already struggling economies are being battered by the economic burden of the disease, which is estimated to cost Africa $12 billion a year. Malaria remains a leading cause of preventing children to attend schools and work absence putting tremendous pressure on household incomes. In addition, weak health systems are over-burdened by the relentless demand for care and medication.

Reducing the impact of malaria is key to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, which are geared towards not only combating the disease itself, but the improvement of women’s and children’s rights to health, access to education and the reduction of extreme poverty.


Photo by Maggie Hallahan/Sumitomo Chemical

World Malaria Day gives us a chance to make a difference.

Help end malaria by 2015! There are many ways you can help to reduce deaths caused by malaria. Donate mosquito nets by visiting NothingButNets.net or find out other ways to get involved at worldmalariaday.org.

Also, check out couple of events hosted by Harvard about Malaria:

Rethinking Malaria: From the Gene to the Globe

A Seminar in Recognition of World Malaria Day 2011

  • When: Tuesday, April 26, 12:00 – 2:00pm
  • Where: Harvard School of Public Health, Francois Xavier Bagnoud Building, Room 301
  • Talks by
    • Sangeeta Bhatia, PhD,Professor of Health Sciences & Technology and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
    • Caroline Buckee, PhD,Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health
    • Günther Fink, PhD, Assistant Professor of International Health Economics, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Sponsored by the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Department of Epidemiology and Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health
  • Lunch will be served – Space is limited – Open to the Harvard community

Malaria Bytes

A Harvard Student Benefit Concert in Commemoration of World Malaria Day

  • When: Wednesday, May 4, 8:00 – 10:30pm
  • Where: Oberon, 2 Arrow Street, Cambridge
  • Sponsored by the Harvard Malaria Initiative
  • For tickets visit www.cluboberon.com

Help us work today to achieve a malaria-free world tomorrow!

-NaEun