Africa: More Funds Needed To Curb the Three Killer Diseases
In a bid to curb HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria diseases in Africa, more funds still needed to be provided to sustain the progress registered in the country’s fight against these diseases
This was pointed out by the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS Country Director, Dr Sibongile Dludlu, during a roundtable discussion held yesterday in Kigal.
The discussion aimed at advancing advocacy for more domestic and donor funding package to end the three killer diseases.
Alice Kayongo, the Regional Policy and Advocacy Manager AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said there was need to lobby for more global funding to sustain what has been achieved so far.
“The best way we can fight these diseases is through pooling of resources, that’s the reason we are reaching out to these countries. We know that their economies are strong enough for them to be able to give something that is significant in the fight against these diseases,” Kayongo said.
“Without necessarily giving figures, I would say that certainly HIV, TB and malaria are still some of the major leading causes of death in East Africa or generally the entire Sub-Saharan Africa. The best way we can fight them is by investing in as much resources as we can”.
The meeting appealed to countries such as China, Germany, Denmark and other rich countries to make significant pledges to the Global Fund.
More financial resources are necessary to build a sustainable world by 2030 and in a bid to end HIV, TB and malaria as epidemics, officials said, stressing the need for increasing domestic and donor finances.
Etienne Hakizimana, the Prevention and Testing Coordinator AHF Rwanda, said there had been a decrease in funds collected over the years which calls for concerted efforts.
“We call upon those countries that haven’t pledged to do so because we still have a long way to go. Yes, there are other strategies in place such as sensitising people and various campaigns to fight against the diseases; nonetheless, the need for resources is paramount,” he noted.
Major donor agencies such as the World Bank have been financing HIV prevention, treatment and care programmes as well as providing technical assistance to increase efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of national responses to the epidemics.
The Global Fund raises and invests nearly $4 billion a year to support programmes run by local actors in countries and communities most in need.
A recent report shows that with the Global Fund partnership, greater results were achieved by 2015. Cumulative highlights indicate that 17 million lives were saved and the world was on track to reach 22 million lives saved by the end of 2016.
In October/ November this year, the Global Fund will host a fundraising conference where countries will announce their new pledges for the 2017-2019 cycles.
The Fund targets $13 billion at the bare minimum.