251805 Maternal and Child Health and the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM)

Monday, October 31, 2011: 9:10 AM

Ann Starrs , President, Family Care International, New York, NY
The coming months and years are a crucial period for mobilizing additional commitments to fulfill the health-related MDGs — and and convert those commitments into concrete progress at national and community levels. MDGs 4 (Reduce child mortality) and 5 (Improve maternal health) are the furthest off-track. Measurable progress on reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) is exacerbated by the absence of any dedicated global financing mechanism for committing and channeling resources to RNMCH. The pressing need for a more integrated approach to funding global health, implementing programs, and improving key indicators was reflected in the UN Secretary-General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health, launched in September 2010. The idea of establishing a global financing mechanism to address structural gaps in funding for RMNCH, and promote integrated programming, is generating more and more attention within the health and development community. One option under discussion is to expand the mandate of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) to encompass RMNCH — essentially, transforming it into a “Global Fund for the Health MDGs.” There are significant political, structural, and financial challenges to achieving this transformation, but the potential benefits – for all health issues – are also significant, and support for the idea is especially strong in high-burden countries. Some steps have been taken by the GFATM Board, through Decision Points adopted in April and December 2010 encourage strengthening the MNCH content of country portfolios, and through the process of developing GFATM's next strategic plan, currently underway.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe how calls for the GFATM to expand their mandate beyond support specifically targeting AIDS, Tuberculosis or Malaria presents specific challenges to the Global Fund Board's decision-making and measures the Board has taken to respond to advocates for these changes.

Keywords: International MCH, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an internationally recognized expert on the topic and President of a nonprofit organization working to educate the public and advocate on the subject of the panel.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.