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German commitment

Controlling infectious diseases


A young child is vaccinated in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Every year several million people in the world's poorest coun­tries die of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, sleeping sickness and other communicable diseases.

Stemming the spread of infectious diseases of this sort, is the sixth of the eight Millennium De­vel­op­ment Goals. Progress over the last few years has been encouraging, but to finally stop diseases spreading, the in­ter­national com­mu­ni­ty will have to redouble its efforts.

German support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) was launched in 2002 to improve co­op­er­a­tion between the various coun­tries involved.

To date the GFATM has supported more than 1,000 programmes in 151 coun­tries, at a cost of about 25 billion US dollars. This has made it possible to treat 4.2 million people living with HIV, and 9.7 tuberculosis sufferers. A total of 310 million impregnated mosquito nets have been distributed to prevent malaria.

Germany is the Global Fund’s fourth largest donor. Since the GFATM was founded, Germany has provided more than 1.5 billion US dollars. It currently contributes 200 million euros a year, and this sum has also been pledged for the period 2014 to 2016.

The German gov­ern­ment is advocating an efficient, effective Global Fund, and has done much in recent years to make the work of the Fund more effective and more trans­pa­rent.

German BACKUP Initiative

Germany also supports the work of the GFATM through the German BACKUP (Building Alliances, Creating Knowledge and Updating Partners) Initiative.

The initiative is an innovative model encompassing multilateral and bilateral co­op­er­a­tion. Close co­op­er­a­tion with in­ter­national organisations on the one hand and providing advisory services to state and civil society organisations in partner coun­tries on the other facilitates the sharing of information and experience. Financial resources made available to the GFATM can thus be used more effectively.

Since 2002 the BACKUP Initiative has supported more than 500 measures implemented by partner organisations in 75 coun­tries, focusing on three cross-cutting issues: strengthening civil society, gender equality and strengthening health systems.

Linking sexual and reproductive health services with HIV/AIDS measures

Fight against HIV: Condoms are sold in a kiosk in Bujumbura, Burundi. Copyright: Ute Grabowsky/photothek.netNumerous interfaces exist between the field of sexual and reproductive health and efforts to combat HIV/AIDS. Firstly, there are many shared causes for impairment to sexual and reproductive health and high HIV rates, and secondly certain measures are helpful in both fields: young people need access to information, counselling and contraceptives, both to protect themselves against unplanned pregnancy and to prevent HIV infection. And avoiding teenage pregnancies helps both prevent the spread of HIV and improve the reproductive health of women.

Antenatal services offer a good opportunity to advise women on family planning matters and on HIV. Conversely, HIV services can and should be used to offer family planning services. In its de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion Germany is working to make better use of synergies in these areas.

Social marketing

Germany supports programmes in the field of social marketing in some 30 coun­tries. In 2011 alone, Germany financed supplies of contraceptives in 16 de­vel­op­ing coun­tries for a total of 23.68 million US dollars. The contraceptives supplied would offer more than six million couples protection for a full year. Experience has shown that this is a promising approach.

In Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda, Germany is supporting pro­grammes that aim to reduce the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The projects work within the framework of district health services in hospitals and health centres, where women are counselled when they attend antenatal appointments.

Generic drugs

Germany is active in supporting the production of affordable drugs at local level. In Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia, for instance, Germany is promoting measures in the field of the local manufacture of generic drugs.

In Tanzania, measures are supporting the establishment of pharmaceutical teaching and de­vel­op­ment laboratories in co­op­er­a­tion with the University of Dar es Salaam and the church-affiliated St. Luke-Foundation. In Kenya, the BMZ is supporting the creation of an entire value chain from ag­ri­cul­tur­al production to the manufacture of Artemisia-based antimalarial tablets. In Ethiopia, Germany is promoting the establishment of a laboratory that is to compare the effectiveness of generic drugs with the brand-name equivalent (bioequivalency testing).

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