As global health leaders from around the world gather in Washington, D.C. this week for the fourth replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria, experts are weighing in on what worldwide disease responses can achieve now.
Agnes Binagwaho is Rwanda’s Minister of Health, a pediatrician and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. In A Win-Win for Global Health in U.S. News and World Report, she tells how the Human Resources for Health program, supported by the Global Fund as well as by the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief is lastingly strengthening her country’s health system by partnering American doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists and health managers with Rwandan counterparts while advancing the prospects for better infectious disease defenses worldwide. The piece cites evidence laid out in a recent New England Journal of Medicine article she coauthored with former Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby and others that this approach to global health is improving Rwanda’s capacity to respond to health threats.
Dr. Myron Cohen is the architect and principal investigator of the multinational HPTN 052 trial, which demonstrated that antiretroviral treatment prevents the sexual transmission of HIV. In We Can Beat HIV, Cohen describes the progress stemming from treatment access and research that has led to the realizable aspiration of “an AIDS-freee generation.” It is progress made possible by the union of science and policy, he writes, but must be sustained by funding to reach its ultimate goal. Pointing to the recent legislation renewing PEPFAR’s authorization, he notes that is just “one, vitally necessary step” and reminds readers “History tells us that when we are making progress against an infectious disease, we must not relax.”