Our #VaccinesWork campaign is to ensure that every last child receives life-saving vaccines. With your help, we can ensure Canada remains a leader in global health by making strong financial commitments to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Ask #1: Canada to pledge $215 million over 4 years to GPEI.
Ask #2: Canada to make a bold financial commitment to Gavi for the next 5 years.
op-ed \ ˈäp-ˈed \
: a page of special features usually opposite the editorial page of a newspaper
Write your op-ed to share your opinion on a newsworthy topic connected to immunizations and our #VaccinesWork campaign. Longer than an LTE, your op-ed will allow you to go in-depth to educate, stimulate public debate or help shape policy. Read our top tips, and follow our step-by-step instructions below to write your op-ed and get it published in the media.
Try to find a local story to connect to the campaign.
Have you experienced a recent boil-water advisory in your local or neighboring community? Use this to direct attention to the fact that not everyone has access to safe, potable water and that increasing the Canadian aid budget is crucial in reaching people who live in extreme poverty.
Opinion: Fighting global disease can also help transform women's lives
The prime minister’s recent announcement of a close to 16-per-cent increase in support for the Global Fund is good news for Canada and the world. Canada has pledged $930.4 million over the next three years. The funds will help to save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria in half, and build stronger health systems by 2023.
In this increasingly divided world, one thing that can still bring nations together is the common threat posed by killer diseases. The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and malaria is an inspiring model of such international co-operation. It was founded in 2002 to combine the resources of governments, civil society groups, and technical agencies, with a mission to fund and implement new ways to tackle the three biggest and longest-running disease epidemics.
Today, the partnership is active in more than 100 countries and operates on many fronts, from detecting and treating tuberculosis and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV to distributing mosquito nets.
Since the inception of the Global Fund, 27 million lives have been saved. The fight is far from over, however. AIDS, TB and malaria together continue to kill close to three million people every year. Drug-resistant strains of TB have proliferated, and drug resistance to anti-retroviral drugs and malaria medications has emerged. Malaria has resurged, and HIV rates among adolescents has increased. In fact, a thousand young women and girls are newly infected with HIV every day.
Despite this growing need, funding for key programs has plateaued. The world is not on track to achieving the target that was set as part of sustainable development goals, to end these epidemics by 2030.
For its sixth replenishment cycle, the Global Fund has asked for renewed funding of $14 billion US in order to step up the fight over the next three years.
Canada has responded generously to the call. In doing so, it has stood by its proclaimed feminist international assistance policy. Women and girls suffer disproportionately in the three great epidemics. As targets of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation, they have higher rates of HIV infection.
As primary caregivers in the household, they also bear the financial and emotional burdens of disease. The Global Fund directly addresses the social and cultural causes of women’s suffering, including the lack of sexual and reproductive health rights. If it realizes its requested level of funding, it will not just save lives.
Along with every life saved there will be untold stories of other lives transformed — a girl who finds a peer-support group to empower her as she matures sexually, a woman who receives health care directly in her home from another woman who is a community health nurse, and many more.
The need to save lives is paramount, but there are also compelling economic reasons to support the Global Fund. Losses due to AIDS, TB and malaria are astronomical. They include $7.2 billion a year in lost earnings due to AIDS, $12 billion a year in direct and indirect costs of malaria in Africa alone, and projected costs of TB amounting to $1 trillion over the next 15 years.
As a model of lean efficiency and transparency, the Global Fund is one of the most reliable instruments available for investing in global health. Every $1 invested in the Global Fund returns $19 in health gains and economic benefits. The countries that stand to gain the most include our important allies and trading partners. We have a stake in reducing health costs and increasing prosperity worldwide through a fully funded Global Fund.
At Women Deliver, the world’s largest conference on gender equality, held at Vancouver in June of this year, Prime Minister Trudeau received a standing ovation from the 7,000 delegates present in appreciation for his feminism and his promise to fund women’s health and rights globally. A strong investment in the Global Fund is a bold and important step for Canada to fulfill this promise.
Following Canada’s announcement, during the G7 Summit in France, global leaders from Germany, Italy and the EU announced similar increases in funding. We should not underestimate Canada’s ability to lead by example as a caring and compassionate decocracy.
- Chitra Ramaswami, Randy Rudolph & Stephen St. Denis, September 4, 2019. Edmonton Journal
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