UGANDA: US to provide US $51 million for HIV/AIDS
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
KAMPALA, 29 June (PLUSNEWS) - The United States has granted Uganda another US $51 million towards its fight against HIV/AIDS and the provision of antiretrovirals (ARVs) for 60,000 people under US President George Bush's emergency plan for AIDS relief.
According to a statement issued over the weekend by the US Embassy in the capital, Kampala, the grant to Uganda is part of the $500 million in additional funding from Washington announced on Friday by US Global AIDS Coordinator Randall L. Tobias.
The statement said the emergency plan would ensure that, in its first year, the number of people provided with access to AIDS drugs in Africa will double. In Uganda, the plan has allocated $96 million to date. Apart from providing ARVs for 60,000 people, another 300,000 persons living with HIV, orphans and vulnerable children are to receive care and support. The plan also aims to avert at least 165,000 new HIV infections.
"Of the $51 million, $3.5 million will be used to promote improved blood safety in Uganda, including enhanced blood collection, screening, storage, distribution, and transfusion capabilities" in the context of the US government's five-year $15-billion commitment to fight global HIV/AIDS, focusing on specific developing countries, the statement added.
Earlier this month, the Ugandan health ministry launched a programme to distribute free ARVs to people living with AIDS through 26 centres in district and regional referral hospitals nationwide.
The embassy said the plan embraced a comprehensive approach to fighting AIDS through a balance of treatment, prevention and care programmes working in concert to increase the effectiveness of each. Substantial resources are also dedicated to overcoming infrastructure and human capacity constraints to fighting HIV/AIDS in resource-poor settings.
"New funds will further expand the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda and 14 other nations, and improve blood transfusion safety," the embassy said.
The 15 focus countries benefiting from the plan for AIDS Relief are Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia.