The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria is committed to continuing its support for Vietnam to help end the three diseases, said the Fund's Board Chair, Donald Kaberuka, at the two-day 49th meeting of the Global Fund's Executive Committee, which opened in Hanoi on 10 May.
Kaberuka reported that over the past two decades, the Global Fund's HIV/AIDS prevention program has helped nearly one million people in Vietnam avoid HIV infection and saved 200,000 lives.
Donald Kaberuka, Global Fund’s Board Chair speaks at the conference. Photo: MoH
Acknowledging the cooperation between the Vietnamese government and social organizations in helping many people recover from these diseases, he affirmed that Vietnam's success in the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria is an inspiration to other countries in the region and the world.
In the Global TB Report 2022, Vietnam ranked 11th out of 30 countries with the highest TB burden in the world. Currently, about 40% of new TB cases each year are still undetected in the community, especially after the Covid-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the elimination of malaria still faces many challenges due to antimalarial drug resistance, imported malaria and the risk of resurgence, the CEO noted.
For her part, Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan told the Global Fund's 49th Executive Board meeting that Vietnam has set a target to virtually end AIDS, TB and eliminate malaria by 2030.
"Since 2003, the Fund has provided more than $650 million in support for activities to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria in Vietnam. At the end of 2022, it announced funding of over US$130 million for such activities and health system improvement in Vietnam for the period 2024-2026," Lan added.
"In the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and control, after more than 30 years since the first HIV case was detected in Vietnam in 1990, this is the 15th consecutive year that the epidemic has been kept in check in the country," Lan said.
Minister of Health Dao Hong Lan makes speech at the 49th Conference of the Global Fund’s Executive Council. Photo: MoH
She cited that in 1991, more than 1 million malaria cases, nearly 5,000 deaths and nearly 150 outbreaks were recorded throughout the country. By 2022, however, there were only more than 400 infections (a reduction of more than 90%) and no deaths.
During the same period, Vietnam also saved about one million lives from TB; 100% of the population had access to TB prevention and control measures; and 42 of Vietnam's 63 provinces eliminated malaria, the minister added.
"However, Vietnam continues to record more than 10,000 cases of HIV infection and about 2,000 AIDS-related deaths each year. There are approximately 30,000 people living with HIV in the community who do not know their HIV status. In addition, the country faces a heavy social and health burden with more than 220,000 people living with the virus," Lan said.
Therefore, the Minister of Health called on the Global Fund, governments, international organizations and individuals to continue supporting Vietnam to promote its achievements, mobilize resources and share experiences to help the country reach the set target.
At the conference, Minister Dao Hong Lan, on behalf of the Ministry of Health (MoH), presented the Certificate of Merit and the "For People's Health" badge to the Global Fund Board.
Delegates also lit candles in memory of those who have died from AIDS, TB and malaria, and toured a photo exhibition on TB eradication.