Optimizing Global Fund proposals to promote women's and children's health
OCTOBER 2011 - The Global Fund Round 11 Call for Proposals is presently open. However, the Global Fund website states that due to uncertainties in the amount of financing which is expected to be available to fund Round 11, the Board has agreed to: “delay the closing date for Round 11 proposals from 15 December 2011 to at least 1st March 2012....Applicants are therefore informed that the application, renewal and / or approval processes for new and existing grants are liable to change.” The website states that further decisions regarding Round 11 will be posted on the website following the 25th Board Meeting on 21-22 November 2011 and no later than 1 December 2011.
Women and children bear a heavy burden of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria, which interact with and exacerbate other reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) problems. Over two million women and children die every year from AIDS, TB and malaria. In 2009, an estimated 370,000 children were newly infected with HIV, more than 90% of them through vertical transmission from their mothers. AIDS and malaria cause 10% of all deaths in children under the age of five, and are associated with around 20% of maternal deaths worldwide. TB is among the three major causes of death among women aged 15-44. Inequities relating to gender and poverty in accessing health services, as well as stigma, discrimination and denial of legal rights exacerbate the vulnerability of women and girls to these diseases and to other RMNCH problems.
Global Fund support for RMNCH can be complementary, but not comprehensive. The Global Fund Board recommended that countries: “strengthen the MNCH content of their Global Fund-supported investments” and “look at opportunities to scale up an integrated health response … and HSS [health systems strengthening]”. However, the Global Fund can only support those RMNCH interventions that are synergistic with its current mandate.
Synergies in Healthcare Strategies for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and for RMNCH. Integrating packages of care across the RMNCH continuum of care saves lives and is cost-effective. Program evaluations show that antenatal care, provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling (PITC), prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), and antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence all improve when an integrated approach is adopted into routine neonatal and maternal health care.
A Triple Return on MDG Investments
There is potential to expand the impact of Global Fund investments to improve the health of women and children even further within the existing mandate and framework. An integrative approach to the health MDGs is also consistent with the UN Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, which builds on the Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMMA) and other related initiatives, and offers a triple return on investments by improving progress towards MDGs 4, 5 and 6.
This web section
Further technical resources and support for integrating RMNCH with HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria strategies (from WHO, UNICEF, PMNCH, World Vision, International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Population Action International, IPPF and other partners) are available on this section of the PMNCH website.