The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) is launching a new Revolving Facility to negotiate improved supply terms for global health products for the countries it supports. According to a news report published by the Global Fund on August 22nd, 2023, this financial mechanism uses advanced market commitments, including volume guarantees, to drive more affordable access to quality-assured health products and accelerate health product introductions and innovations at greater scale.
“The Revolving Facility will help accelerate affordable access to more effective health products for people living in the poorest communities around the world,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “As one of the largest multilateral investors in global health, the Global Fund will use the Revolving Facility to play an even more strategic role in shaping the global supply of life-saving HIV, TB and malaria products – to save lives and increase equitable access. This mechanism will also help us move even more swiftly in response to future health crises, including pandemics.”
The first agreement to come through the Facility will be with Vestergaard, manufacturers of PermaNet® malaria mosquito nets, for its new dual active ingredient (Dual AI) insecticide-treated net. Dual AI nets are more effective against insecticide-resistant mosquitoes than conventional ones. By implementing an innovative operating model, the Global Fund aims to secure sustainable prices for a set of commonly used specifications for Dual AI nets that are comparable to existing nets. This makes it possible for countries to expand coverage with Dual AI nets despite constrained budgets.
Leveraging the Revolving Facility, the innovative operating model will reduce production complexity and improve responsiveness, leading to additional cost savings across the insecticide-treated nets supply chain.
“The Global Fund will work closely with countries and partners to optimize malaria portfolio investments as part of its next grant cycle,” said Hui Yang, Head of Supply Operations at the Global Fund. “We hope to leverage the lower prices to accelerate the scaled introduction of Dual AI nets to ensure there is optimal and equitable vector control coverage across affected geographies. Our ambition is to ensure that Dual AI nets are available everywhere they are needed, and we welcome more suppliers to enter the Dual AI market and continue investments in the insecticide-treated net innovation pipeline.”
Insecticide-treated nets are a key tool in global vector control strategies in the fight against malaria. Nets treated with pyrethroid insecticide have been widely used since the 1990s and have underpinned the achievements made in malaria control to date. However, some mosquito populations have developed resistance to pyrethroids, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where the bulk of malaria cases are seen. This is reducing the effectiveness of insecticide-treated nets and putting at risk the hard-won gains made by malaria control programs.
“The agreement through the Revolving Facility has the potential to ensure that every child, in every community, has the best protection possible against malaria, a disease that kills a child every minute of every day,” said Olivia Ngou, Executive Director of Impact Sante Afrique, a nongovernmental organization supported by the Global Fund that advocates for the fight against malaria across Africa. “Much more work needs to be done to ensure communities have access to malaria prevention and treatment, but continued innovation in mosquito nets and other tools will ensure that the world will continue to make progress against this deadly disease.”
In March, WHO issued new recommendations for the use of Dual AI nets. This included a strong recommendation for the use of pyrethroid-chlorfenapyr nets to prevent malaria in adults and children in areas where mosquitoes have become resistant to pyrethroids.
The Global Fund’s Revolving Facility was established with an initial commitment of US$100 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and will be key to helping low- and middle- income countries access the most effective technologies in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.
“Investment in the development, delivery, and scale-up of tools to help countries adapt to evolving challenges is essential to ending malaria,” said Trevor Mundel, Global Health President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “This initiative strives to expand access to life-saving health products, starting with new dual-insecticide bed nets to drive down disease in areas with insecticide resistance. Thanks to innovative organizations like the Global Fund, we’re one step closer to reducing the burden of this deadly disease.”The Global Fund is committed to working with partners, countries and industry to drive equitable access to quality-assured health products and innovations in the countries where we invest, and we will continue to seek opportunities to use the Revolving Facility to support programmatic outcomes across HIV, TB, malaria and respond to future health crises, contributing to universal health coverage and health security.
Article adopted from theglobalfund.org