Meeting: Fight against HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and the impact of Covid-19

12-10-2021 16:05
Young woman wearing gloves and holding a face mask with the European symbol
ECA review the EU s initial contribution to the public health response to COVID19.jpg © European Union, 2021
On Monday, 25th October 2021 from 16:30 to 18:00 (Brussels time) there will be an ad hoc meeting with members of the ACP – EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, dedicated to the “Fight against HIV/ AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and the impact of Covid-19 on it” with Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund, Olivia Ngou, Executive Director of the Impact Santé Afrique, and the European Commission.

The meeting will provide a forum to assess the current programmes' implementation and to conceptualize urgent actions and strategies to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the fight against the three diseases. Additionally, the focus of the meeting will be on questions related to how the European Parliament and the European Commission can jointly address common challenges and support the contribution of the Global Fund and the advocacy work of organizations as Impact Santé, on how to strengthen health systems in low and middle-income countries to improve the provision of tools that every country needs to contain and treat HIV, TB and malaria. Another point of discussion might be the endorsement by the World Health Organization of the first vaccine for malaria and any parasitic diseases. The RTS, S/AS01 vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline has been, to date, the only vaccine that targets the most deadly and common malaria parasite: Plasmodium falciparum. The introduction of the vaccination for children is supposed to have high impact in real-life childhood vaccination, benefitting over 90% of children which are exposed to the mosquitoes by not sleeping under a net. However, the vaccine has proven an efficacy of only about 50 per cent in severe malaria cases during the first year, with figures dropping close to zero by the fourth year. The conducted trials did not directly measure the vaccine's impact on mortality and the adverse effects linked to the vaccine itself. Therefore the real effectiveness of the vaccine, which is supposed to be provided to children from 5 months of age, remains to be investigated.