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April 26, 2002

International Health Leader Heads Fund to Aid Poor Countries

Richard Feachem, UCSF professor of international health, has been appointed as the first executive director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

During his two-year term, Feachem will guide a team of 40-50 experts in the medical management of the three diseases, program implementation, and fund/portfolio management at the headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The Fund, which was formed last year, will invest in programs to reduce the suffering and poverty caused by AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, which together kill 8 million people worldwide, said Feachem. He explained that the board of directors projects Fund growth from $2 billion in 2002 to $8 billion in 2007.

Selected programs will enhance prevention and treatment of the three diseases in Africa, Asia, poor countries in Latin America, and poor sections of middle income countries such as Brazil, he said. The Fund will invest in prevention and treatment interventions that have been successful in local areas and expand those protocols nationally and internationally.

Income comes mainly from the governments of wealthy countries (the US government is the largest supporter), Feachem said. Foundations, including that of Bill and Melinda Gates, are also contributing.

Yesterday (April 25), on the same day it announced Feachem's appointment, the Fund announced its first round of grants, awarding $378 million over two years to 40 programs in 31 countries.

"It's an honor for me to have the opportunity to work for the Global Fund. The poverty and suffering caused by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria are immense. The Fund is positioned to make large investments in controlling these terrible diseases and improving the lives of millions of families throughout the world. I look forward to contributing to the Fund's success, to leading the Secretariat, and to working with the Fund's many partners and supporters. Together we can make a difference," Feachem said.

"Professor Feachem has outstanding experience in the field of international health, and has worked with both the public and private sectors," said Rajat Gupta, managing director of McKinsey & Company and Global Fund board member. "We are very pleased that he has accepted our offer to be the Global Fund's executive director."

Richard Feachem, 55, a British national, is a UCSF professor of international health and founding director of the UCSF/UCB Institute for Global Health. Prior to this, he was director for health, nutrition and population at the World Bank. From 1989 until 1995, he was dean of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London. He holds a doctor of science degree (DSc) in medicine and a PhD in Environmental Health. Feachem was one of 18 distinguished individuals appointed to the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health (CMH), which conducted a two-year study and presented results to the World Health Organization in December 2001. According to the economists, political leaders, health and policy experts on the Commission, extending the coverage of crucial health services to the world's poor can save millions of lives a year, reduce poverty, spur economic development and promote global security.

The UCSF/UCB Institute for Global Health also led, on behalf of a group of international agencies, a major evaluation of malaria control worldwide. The study, entitled Achieving Impact: Report of the External Evaluation of Roll Back Malaria will be released in May, 2002.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is an independent public-private partnership working to increase funding to fight the three diseases, and direct these funds rapidly to effective prevention and treatment programs in countries with the greatest need. The Fund's board includes representatives of all parties that have a stake in fighting the three diseases: donor and recipient governments, international agencies, NGOs, the private sector, and people affected by the three diseases.

Links:

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria Announces First Grants

Richard Feachem

UCSF/UCB Institute for Global Health

Washington Post - Global Fund Rebuffs US in Picking Leader

Source: Maureen McInaney

 

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