Governments must increase HIV,TB, malaria funding: Kamwi

WINDHOEK: Twelve countries from the eastern and southern African regions met here over the past four days to discuss the new funding model of the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria.

Nearly two years ago, the Global Fund introduced a new funding model to deliver on the promise of partnership which created the fund in 2002. The funding model take into account strong country ownership in the fight against the diseases, increased domestic spending on health and a focus on human rights.

Health Minister Richard Kamwi said in a speech read on his behalf by his personal advisor, Dr Naftali Hamata, during the closing ceremony of the conference on Wednesday that countries should commit themselves to use available tools to design plan and implement programmes which significantly reduce infections in HIV, TB and malaria.

“Let us make the efforts to talk to our governments so that they can increase the level of domestic finances invested in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria. It is the best way to ensure sustainability of the gains we have made against these diseases in the last decade,” he stressed.

At the same event, Head of the Grant Management Division at the Global Fund, Mark Edington commended participating countries for the tremendous progress achieved in the fight against these diseases.

“The regions have made huge progress in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria. Now we need to focus on data of the three diseases, reduce the number of new infections and develop a strategy to reach the most in need,” he urged.

In a declaration issued after the meeting, countries pledged amongst others to use all resources available to design plans and implement programmes which significantly reduce new infections in HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

The countries also undertook to promote and ensure robust country dialogue in implementing the Global Fund-supported projects in order to achieve the best possible impact in investments in the response to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

The participation of women and adolescents in designing plans and implementing gender-responsive programmes are high on their agenda.

The countries which attended the meeting were hosts Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eritrea, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Sudan and Swaziland.

The countries received funding of US dollars 1.7 billion (about N.dollars 17 billion) in total from the Global Fund for the period 2014 to 2016.

Under the new financial model, Namibia received US dollars 111.3 million (about N.dollars 1.1 billion) in total for the fight against the diseases.

HIV received US dollars 87.7 million (about N.dollars 878 million), TB received US dollars 18.1 million (about N.dollars 181 million) and malaria US dollars 5.5 million (about N.dollars N.dollars 55 million).