Health & Fitness

EU promises Uganda Shs1.7tn to combat AIDS

Mulago Hospital

The European Commission announced a pledge of 470 million Euros (1.7 trillion Shillings) for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for the 2017-2019 funding cycle.

This indicates an increase of 100 million Euros (360 billion Shillings) over their previous contribution.

The funding is a major boost to the investment case for raising 13 billion US Dollars (43 trillion Shillings), to embrace the global goal of ending HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics by 2030.

The investment case was launched in December 2015 by the Global Fund.

“With 470 million Euros, the EU’s contribution to the Global Fund will contribute to achieve our shared ambition to save 8 million more lives and avert up to 300 million infections,” Mimica added.

“One of the lessons of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the clear need to strengthen health systems in developing countries, so that infectious diseases can be controlled for good,” Neven Mimica, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development says.

The European Commission, a strong supporter of the Global Fund since its creation in 2002, is the sixth largest donor.

Altogether, Europe represents 48 percent of the total contributions to the Global Fund, the largest of any region.

Dr Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, voiced deep appreciation for the European Commission’s strong leadership in global health.

“With this significant and increased pledge, Europe is demonstrating terrific leadership in global health,” Dr Dybul said.

The Global Fund is a 21st-century partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by AIDS, TB and malaria.

It is designed to accelerate the end the diseases as epidemics.

As a partnership, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests nearly 4 billion US Dollars (13 trillion Shillings) a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 100 countries.

The Global Fund has disbursed 623 million US dollars (over 2 trillion Shillings) to the Republic of Uganda since 2002, contributing to a significant headway in the management and treatment of the three diseases in the country over the last four years.

The number of people dying from HIV, Tuberculosis, and Malaria declined by one-third since 2002 in the countries where the Global Fund invests.

In Uganda, new HIV infections have decreased from 140,000 in 2010 to less than 100,000 in 2014, the number of people receiving anti-retroviral treatment for HIV has gone up from 21percent in 2010 to 50 percent in 2014; and malaria prevalence in young children has decreased from 42percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2015, according to the latest figures from the Ministry of Health.

Globally, the number of people dying of AIDS-related causes fell to 1.1 million in 2014, down from a peak of 2.2 million in the mid-2000s.

A tremendous contributing factor has been the increase in access to antiretroviral therapy from 4 percent coverage in 2005 to 40 percent coverage in 2014.

A total of 8.1 million people receive antiretroviral treatment for HIV with Global Fund support.

The number of deaths from TB declined 29 percent between 2000 and 2014 in countries where the Global Fund invests.

This decline is complemented by an increase in the number of TB cases detected and treated over the past decade.

A total of 13.2 million people have received TB treatment with Global Fund support.

Thanks to the distribution of more than 548 million mosquito nets, 56 percent of people at risk of contracting malaria in 2014 gained access to these vital resources, from 7 percent in 2005.

This and other initiatives on malaria prevention and treatment made it possible that deaths caused by malaria declined 48 percent between 2000 and 2014.

Credit: URN 

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