How Every Canadian Is Giving Back To The World Without Even Knowing It

If you are a hard working Canadian that pays taxes every year, you should give yourself a big pat on the back for the difference you are helping to make in the world. Without even realizing it, each and every tax paying Canadian has been contributing a massive amount of funding to the Global Fund, saving more than 20 million lives around the world since it’s inception in 2002.

To date, Canadian tax dollars have contributed a total of $2.1 billion to the Global Fund. Further to these substantial donations, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to donate another $785 million during the next replenishment period which runs from 2017 to 2019.

The Global Fund is a collaboration between national governments, the private sector and civilians from nations which the fund aims to help. It is designed to significantly reduce the threat posed by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics by supporting local programs in more than 100 countries affected by these awful diseases. Below is a more detailed explanation of how Canadian investments are helping the Global Fund tackle each of these diseases.

How the Global Fund is tackling HIV/AIDS

AIDS is one of the largest causes of death in the world today and is the leading cause of death for women that are within the reproductive age in low to middle income countries. The worst part is, about half of the people that have been infected with HIV don’t even know they have the disease and thus are at a higher risk of developing AIDS and transmitting it to other people.

One of the key factors to ending HIV/AIDS as an epidemic is prevention. In order for prevention to occur, people in high risk areas need to be educated about the disease so that they can take the necessary precautions to stop spreading HIV and so that they are aware of the disease and get checked for it if any suspicion arises.

Further to education, antiretroviral therapy and other medicine to prevent the transmission from pregnant mother to child are necessary in combatting HIV/AIDS. These types of medicine significantly reduce the spread of the disease helping to bring it under control.

Through the Global Fund, Canada’s generous donations have helped in all of these areas, more specifically giving assistance in the following form:

  • Providing 8.6 million people with antiretroviral therapy
  • Giving 3.3 million mothers medicine to help prevent transmitting HIV to their babies

How the Global Fund is fighting tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is the world’s second deadliest infectious disease, AIDS being number one. It is spread through coughing and sneezing, causing it to easily spread in overcrowded populations infecting an estimated 9.6 million new people every year. Of these new cases every year, about one third of them go unnoticed or untreated, most often when it comes to the most vulnerable populations including women, children, elderly and impoverished citizens.

Tuberculosis is considered to be a major burden on development in impoverished nations because it mainly affects young adults in their most productive years. As a result, these adults have a harder time contributing to the advancement of their country while they deal with the horrors of having this deadly disease.

The Global Fund, with the help of Canada and other countries investments, is supporting nations that are most affected by tuberculosis by offering solutions for testing and treating it efficiently. To date over 15 million people have been given access to tuberculosis testing and treatments with the help of the Global Fund.

How the Global Fund is helping stop malaria

Killing nearly 440,000 people per year, malaria is a terrible disease spread through mosquito bites. Of these deaths, about 70% of them were children under 5 years old in recent years. The worst part is that malaria is both preventable and treatable, but only with the use of appropriate tools. This includes educating local populations on preventative measures like spraying high risk areas with insecticides and eliminating potential breeding grounds, as well as giving affected populations access to malaria treatments.

Through the investments made by Canada and the Global Fund, nations that have a high rate of malaria infections are receiving the necessary education and preventative tools for combating this terrible and preventable disease. The most notable effort has been the distribution of over 659 million insecticide treated mosquito nets, which has proved to cut malaria cases in children by half since the inception of the Global Fund.

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