Global Fund Endorses Integrated Health Systems to Prepare for Pandemics
Francoise Vanni, Director of External Relations at The Global Fund

The Global Fund intends to further prioritise integrated health systems and boost people-centred approaches, it was announced at the Geneva Health Forum on Wednesday.

Although urgent improvements in health and community systems only made up about 14% of its $3.4 billion COVID-19 budget, the organisation expressed strong commitment to these themes in future. 

New priorities emerge 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “integrated health systems” is a humanistic method of organising and managing health services that focuses on delivering to people the care that they need, in ways that are prompt, effective, user-friendly, and cost-effective.

Speaking at the Geneva Health Forum on Wednesday, Francoise Vanni, Director of External Relations at The Global Fund, noted that this new strategy reinforces The Global Fund’s mission, as the needs of people take centre-stage more than ever. 

“We will be focusing and incorporating this on things like supply chains, digital health information systems, digital health, community health workers and other key areas of health systems,” Vanni said.

She noted that integrated health systems have become necessary considering the growing challenges in accessing healthcare and burgeoning health issues affecting the population. 

Change necessitated by COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven a major eye-opener for the global health financing landscape, setting new standards and models for successful programme implementation. 

It is therefore no wonder that the Global Fund, one of the largest global health financing and partnership organisations, has shifted its focus to integrated health systems  as part of its aim to invest additional resources in fighting epidemics. 

To date, the Fund’s COVID-19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) has supported countries to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on more routine HIV, TB and malaria programmes. It is largely because of its partnerships with communities and local stakeholders, Vanni says, that The Global Fund was able to respond so quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic. “These frontline responders were key”, she added, and were part of the inspiration to reboot the organisation’s future priorities.

Increasing preparation and prevention budgets

Out of The Global Fund’s Total COVID-19 approved 2021 funding of nearly $3.4 billion, nearly $472 million was spent on urgent improvements in health and community systems. This represented less than 14% of the total amount but Vanni revealed this would significantly improve in preparation for future pandemics.




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