Global Fund Initiative Makes Impact in Nigeria, Ghana, Others
Fund Initiative Makes Impact in Nigeria, Ghana, Others
An Initiative by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to promote affordable and effective anti-malaria medicines in remote communities in Africa, is progressing in Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda.
The initiative, called Affordable Medicines Facility for Malaria (AMFm), managed by the Global Fund, allows people to buy life-saving malaria treatment in private stores and pharmacies for less than $1; comparable malaria medicines outside the programme cost up to 10 or 20 times more.
"The innovation is working, bringing relief to millions of people who need quality anti-malaria drugs at affordable prices. The AMFm is a game-changer in financing access to malaria treatments," says Dr Olusoji Adeyi, who heads the AMFm Initiative at the Global Fund in Geneva.
About 216 million people fall ill with malaria yearly and 655,000 die from it, mostly children in Africa.
AMFm is making anti-malaria drugs, called artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), available as widely and cheap as possible to those who need them. It allows people to obtain effective drugs without having to travel long distances to reach public health facilities.
AMFm is also helping to drive out ineffective medicines off the market, making effective ACT treatment available and accessible to millions of people.
Although the World Health Organisation recommends ACTs as treatment for uncomplicated malaria, the most deadly form of the disease, the drug accounts for only about one in five of all treatments taken for the disease. Until recently, it has only been available for free or at low cost in public health facilities.
Reduced prices are possible because the Global Fund first negotiates a discounted price for ACTs with drug manufacturers and pays most of the reduced price on behalf of importers from the private, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and public sectors. Private wholesalers then sell ACTs to retailers at reduced prices allowing pharmacies and stores to sell the drugs to patients and caregivers with an additional mark-up, while keeping the retail price affordable.
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