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Greater commitment, more funding urged for treatment
Thursday 21 October 2004
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AFRICA: Greater commitment, more funding urged for treatment

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

©  Salamatu Foundation

African countries have focused on prevention of HIV/AIDS

JOHANNESBURG, 21 September (PLUSNEWS) - Despite a broad commitment to combating the spread of HIV/AIDS on the continent, African governments spend far too little of their own funds on intervention programmes, a new study has found.

A review of national budgets included in 'Funding the Fight: Budgeting for HIV/AIDS in Developing Countries' showed that while many had developed strategic plans to tackle the virus, these were "poorly costed and budgeted".

Sub-Saharan Africa remains by far the region worst affected by the AIDS epidemic - it has just over 10 percent of the world's population, but is home to two-thirds of all people living with HIV, according to UNAIDS.

The report noted that the priority given to HIV/AIDS programmes in health budgets varied significantly: Mozambican authorities spent just 1.6 percent of state funds on efforts to tackle the disease; Kenya invested 11 percent in 2002; and South Africa's HIV/AIDS budget climbed steadily from 0.67 in 2000/01 to 3.86 percent in 2004/05.

All African countries were falling below the 15 percent target on health spending in general agreed upon by governments at an Organisation of African Unity Summit in Nigeria in 2001.

The study, undertaken by local NGO research institutes and coordinated by the Johannesburg-based Institute for Democracy, observed that tracking resources allocated to HIV/AIDS in national budgets was hindered by "weak or absent links" between allocations and their intended objectives.

One of the key findings was that most countries had focused on prevention rather than treatment. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that 3.8 million African are in need of treatment, but only 150,000 people are currently receiving life-prolonging drugs.

Although HIV/AIDS spending had been boosted since the recent announcement and launch of antiretroviral treatment programmes in a handful of African countries, researchers cautioned that despite increased allocations, these programmes could be undermined if more money was not made available to strengthen the health system overall.

African countries were urged to increase their own financial commitment to HIV/AIDS interventions. With the exception of South Africa, most countries on the continent relied to a large extent on donor funding. "Greater commitment of state funds is essential to the longevity of scaled-up programmes, particularly treatment," the report concluded.


Recent AFRICA Reports
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 203, 15 October 2004,  15/Oct/04
Full impact of AIDS yet to be felt - UN Commission,  14/Oct/04
AIDS orphan village planned,  12/Oct/04
Experts explore rural impact of AIDS,  12/Oct/04
Millions lack access to ARVs - UN study,  12/Oct/04
VIH Internet
Sida Info Services
Le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le SIDA, la tuberculose et le paludisme
Le Réseau Afrique 2000

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