Delivered by Jonathan Gunthorp, Africa Delegate, on behalf of the PCB NGO Delegation
Thank you chair, I speak on behalf of the entire NGO Delegation.
Many people in our communities are alive today because of the leadership of UNAIDS, and
yet we have not ended AIDS. Not as a public health threat, not as the leading killer of adolescents in southern Africa, not as a silent stalker of key populations worldwide.
Nor are we on track to end AIDS. Twenty-four months ago, the Lancet Commission report, - made up of some of the best minds in the global response - reminded us of this; warned of possible rebounds; advised to make common cause with broader global health; and found that existing tools and strategies are insufficient. I repeat, found that existing .. “strategies are insufficient”.
We face a strategic turning point in the Joint Programme, at a time of both the Coronavirus pandemic and the approaching economic recession.
The recession will push scores of millions back into poverty and, in the absence of UHC, eat away at their ability to pay for health, and at their countries ability to fund their HIV responses.
And the pandemic, while flaying the wealthy along with the poor, has exposed global inequities, between countries & within countries. It has reminded us who can and who cannot afford health.
While countries in the north have been heavily hit by the pandemic, it is in Latin America that bodies lie in the streets, that children with AIDS once again haunt TV screens as supplies and supply chains collapse, and it is in Asia that people break COVID-19 isolation and wait in vain for disrupted supplies of medicines.
And these scenes of increasing pain are only those we all see on TV.
It is, above all, the uncounted, as Professor Sarah Davis of the Global Health Centre, calls those whose data do not make it to our TV screens or our reports, that concern us in civil society.
Our bold & imaginary strategy must, above all, ensure that if we are not able to count all of our people, that they still count in the response.
Tags: 46th PCB Meeting