The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria says it is committed to financing essential health care programs in Uganda despite the international trends to reduce aid because of the ongoing economic recession.
A statement released by the Global Fund following the visit of William Paton, the fund's Director of Country Programs, says the organization will ensure continuous supply of anti-retroviral drugs and malaria prevention activities.
During his visit Mr. Paton announced that the Global Fund has disbursed 4.25 million dollars to the Ministry of Finance for critically needed ARVs. He said it is also in the process of finalizing the release of funds for the procurement and distribution of over 7.2 million bed nets.
This is the beginning of disbursements of new commitments worth up to 120 million dollars over 24 months, for AIDS and malaria.
The Global Fund is an important partner in Uganda's response against the three diseases, with 341 million dollars committed and 164 million dollars disbursed over the last six years.
Funding to Uganda was suspended after evidence came to light of mismanagement of Global Fund resources in 2005.
William Paton said that Uganda has recovered from this scandal, demonstrating its leadership in responding to AIDS and to strengthening its health system over many years. He said the Global Fund appreciates Government's ongoing efforts to recover funds which were misappropriated in the past and the prosecution of those responsible.
As well as Global Fund-supported programs for HIV and AIDS, Uganda also has grants for malaria and tuberculosis. To respond to malaria, almost two million long-lasting bed nets have been distributed nation-wide. The new grant will provide 17.7 million bed nets over the next five years, which will provide cover for a high proportion of women and of children under five years old.
The Global Fund is a unique global public/private partnership dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.