No donor has withdrawn from HIV/Aids funding, says Ugandan gov’t

DONOR DOLLARS STILL FLOWING: DR Musinguzi

DONOR DOLLARS STILL FLOWING: DR Musinguzi

Uganda’s Health Ministry has dismissed recent reports that some development partners were redirecting funding from HIV/Aids to other diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Dr. Joshua Musinguzi, the programs manager AIDS Control Program under Ministry of Health says the reports are false.

“The biggest funders like US government, which contributes the largest share of funding for HIV interventions with US $324M about Shillings 959Billion each year has promised to continue the funding with emphasis on scaling up HIV/AIDS treatment, “says Dr Musinguzi.

Dr.Musinguzi says the Ministry is yet to renew a memorandum of understanding with Global fund for the joint funding for HIV/TB program to the tune of US $132M about Shillings 391billion for three years. He adds that the government of Uganda is also still committed to contribute US $34M [Shillings 101Billion] every year.

“The money will majorly be used to purchase drugs. With this continued flow of funding, Uganda will continue to progress towards the reduction of new infections and increasing the number of people on treatment,” Dr. Musinguzi adds

He revealed that over the past 3 years, more patients have been enrolled on antiretroviral therapy (ART) treatment. Dr.Musinguzi says 713,774 patients are currently receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) at 1,603 health facilities countrywide, out of 1.4 million people who need treatment.

In 2013 alone, 194,000 patients were enrolled on HIV treatment. Dr.Musinguzi says that in order to increase treatment; the ministry is now offering treatment for people with a CD4 count of 500, instead of 350 that was being considered.

Dr.Musinguzi says the number of new infections has reduced from 137,000 cases reported in 2013 to 128,000 cases in 2014.

This shows that HIV infections have dropped over the last four years since 2012 when about 140,000 new infections were recorded. In 2011, there were 160,000 new infections. According to the 2011 Uganda Aids Indicator Survey, 7.3% of Ugandans have HIV.