17 November 2017
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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 05:49

Malawi signs Global Fund grant as HIV/AIDS gets big allocation

Written by  Brian Itai
Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi  accompanied by Globe fund senior fund portfolio manager Musoke Sempala cutting the ribbon - Pic by Stanley Makuti Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi accompanied by Globe fund senior fund portfolio manager Musoke Sempala cutting the ribbon - Pic by Stanley Makuti

Lilongwe, November 7, 2017: Out of the US$460 million  two year grant that Global Fund has given Malawi for the period starting from 2018-2020, over US$300 million  has been allocated to be utilized for HIV interventions.

This represents the biggest per cent out of the whole grant which includes funds aimed at supporting the delivery of TB and Malaria national response.

The allocation is expected to aid the country’s target of reducing new infections towards the elimination of HIV transmission by 2030 and reducing the morbidity and mortality related to HIV, TB and Malaria.

Global Fund has approved US$460, 475, 140. 00 which will be directed at different interventions to be implemented by government through the Ministry of Health as principal recipients while Action Aid Malawi and World Vision are primary recipients responsible for the non-biomedical component of the grant.

Addressing members of the press during the grant signing ceremony in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Minister of Health Atupele Muluzi said the grant would provide a good transition on the outcomes from previous grants which has showed tremendous progress in containing the threat of HIV, TB and Malaria.

“We have managed to reduce the malaria prevalence rate from 33 percent in 2014 to 24 percent in 2017. The incidence of TB has declined from 294 in 2012 to 159 in 2017 per every 100,000 people.

“As a country we have also managed to put 714,691 people on ART and 86 per cent of this number has achieved viral suppression which is very encouraging. We hope to build on this success to register more success with this grant,” Muluzi explained.

The Minister said there is still a huge amount of work which needs to be done in the area of HIV and AIDS if the country is to achieve its 2030 targets of completely eliminating new HIV transmissions.

“We have done extremely well in reducing the mother to child infection cases but our biggest battle is now to identify the new positives, get them on treatment and achieve viral suppression. There is no need to critically look at the populations of higher risk like youths and cushion their threat to HIV as well,” he said.

From this grant, the Ministry is expected to avert 110, 000 HIV related deaths, increase treatment success of bacteriologically confirmed TB cases to 90 percent and the purchase of TB drugs for over 65, 000 patients and about 380 drug resistant TB patients.

Global Fund Senior Fund Portfolio Manager, Musoke Sempala said Malawi is one of the first few countries within their portfolio to sign the new grants.

“Malawi has been a partner for over 15 years and it remains one of the good examples in implementing programmes through our support. They have made good strides as evidenced by the decline in TB incidents though the burden of malaria is still very high.

“In the past year we went through a rigorous planning process to see how the allocations will go. It is our belief that when we meet next to talk of about the next grants we will be talking about complete elimination owing to the resources we have put in,” he added.

Executive Director for Action Aid Malawi, Grace Malera said it is paramount to address the issue of HIV and AIDS as it continues to hamper development and exact severe challenges to the empowerment of people in communities.

“Notwithstanding the significant progress we have made as a country, there still remain considerable challenges hampering the efforts in combating the HIV epidemic in the areas of financial and human resources as well as technical capacities,” she viewed.

Both Action Aid Malawi and World Vision have been responsible for managing the Global Fund Grant for the past two years and they will do the same for the upcoming grant.

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