In the last couple of decades, we have witnessed incredible advances in controlling several highly dangerous infectious diseases—HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. Huge scientific advances and unprecedented funding have meant that more and more people can access prevention and treatment services, which translates into a record number of lives saved around the globe. Progress is particularly striking in Africa, where current levels of treatment were once considered impossible. We are now at a turning point that could prove to be as significant in the global fight against infectious diseases as the Okinawa G8 Summit—where the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was first conceived—13 years ago. Building on this success, we have the ability to significantly reduce the threat that these three diseases pose to human lives and to economic development. But this will only be achieved if we continue to invest in the fight against infectious diseases. Otherwise, we risk losing much of what we have already worked so hard to achieve.
JCIE and FGFJ joined forces with the Global Fund, the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and UNAIDS to organize a high-level panel on recent progress that has been made in the fight against communicable diseases. Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori and Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete opened the event, which featured a panel of experts in communicable diseases.