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Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria - Westminster Hall

I rose at 10.18am

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Kate Osamor (Edmonton) (Lab/Co-op): I thank the right hon. Member for Arundel and South Downs (Nick Herbert) for bringing this debate to the Chamber. I congratulate him on his thorough and eloquent introduction. He was able to lay out all the pitfalls facing us if we have a cut in the Global Fund.

In the summer of 2015, I was also on the same delegation to Zambia as the hon. Members for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport (Oliver Colvile) and for Pudsey (Stuart Andrew). We went with Results UK. We were able to see at first hand the impact of the Global Fund and the importance of continuing to push to address global health challenges, including infectious diseases.

According to the World Health Organisation, 64,000 Zambians developed TB in 2014. That includes a high level of TB and HIV co-infection, with an estimated 38,000 TB cases reported among people living with HIV. The Zambian Government’s contribution to the health sector doubled between 2011 and 2014. Unfortunately, they rely heavily on external resources, which account for between 30% and 40% of health expenditure in recent years.

On the delegation, I was able to see first-hand the positive impact that the Global Fund has had on healthcare in Zambia. I, too, visited St Luke’s mission hospital in the Chongwe district, which has received Global Fund grants, and was able to speak to patients who had undergone and lived through treatment for HIV and TB. They had become confident advocates, and were proud to be able to stand with us and eat with us, and to explain to us how their lives were before the hospital’s intervention. I know how important the Global Fund is in transforming people’s lives and making a difference to those people in Zambia. Overall, Global Fund-financed projects have treated more than 81,000 new cases of TB, distributed more than 14 million bed nets to protect families from the transmission of malaria, and provided antiretroviral treatment to more than 600,000 people with HIV living in Zambia.

I call on the Government and the Minister to end the cap and push for the 2017-19 proposed investment contribution of £13 billion to be met through both our contributions and others’. If it is not, I am concerned that all the great work that has been done in places such as Zambia will be eroded.

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Kate Osamor MP

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