COVID-19 has become one of the most fatal and contagious infectious diseases of our time, with a death toll of 4.7 million and 226 million cases worldwide up until now. Apart from severly impacting everyday life, it's also leaving its mark when it comes to combating HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. As our chart indicates, these communicable diseases are bound to prosper in the coronavirus' shadow.
As the annual report by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) states, the spread of COVID-19 in many of its more than 100 support countries dampened prevention and treatment efforts for HIV and tuberculosis. Treatment of the latter went down by 18 percent compared to 2019, while the number of HIV tests shrank from 134 million in 2019 to 105 million in 2020. One of the main reasons cited for the decline was the fear of getting infected with the coronavirus at the corresponding facilities. These two figures are indicators for a potential step back in the battle against communicable diseases, which had been showing promise over the last decade. Compared to 2010, yearly deaths due to AIDS were down by 39 percent in 2019, while deaths by tuberculosis fell by 15 percent in the direct comparison of 2010 and 2019.
The Global Fund was founded in Januar 2002 and has become the largest financier of prevention, treatment and care programs for tuberculosis, HIV and malaria. From 2018 to 2020, the organistation contributed an estimate of 12.8 billion U.S. dollars towards combating the three infectious diseases across its supported countries. After a funding misappropriation scandal in 2011, the Global Fund reorganized its transparency guidelines. The most noteworthy application of those guidelines occurred in 2020 when the financing organization rejected a funding request by Kenia due to the lack of transparency in the local partners involved managing the funds.