KIGALI, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) met in Rwandan capital Kigali Wednesday and selected Aida Kurtovic as its new Chair for a two-year term.
Kurtovic, who is from Bosnia and Herzegovina, had served as Vice-Chair for the past two years. Prior to serving as Vice-Chair, she also served as a board member, and has been involved with the Global Fund in numerous capacities.
The Global Fund is an organization designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. Founded in 2002, it is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by the diseases. The organization raises and invests nearly 4 billion U.S. dollars a year to support programs run by local experts in countries and communities most in need.
Opening the board meeting Wednesday morning, Rwandan President Paul Kagame stressed the importance of strengthening systems of health, of orienting all financial support around a country's strategic plan for health, and of long-term improvement through constant learning.
According to Rwandan government officials, the Global Fund's interventions in Rwanda have achieved impressive results, including antiretroviral therapy for HIV for 175,000 people, more than 36,000 smear-positive cases of TB detected and treated, more than 18.1 million insecticide-treated nets to protect families against malaria.
The board also selected John Simon, the former U.S. ambassador to the African Union as incoming Vice-Chair.
The new terms for Chair and Vice-Chair of the board will start at the conclusion of the current meeting on Thursday.