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Boost for HIV/AIDS treatment programmes
Wednesday 23 February 2005
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MALAWI: Boost for HIV/AIDS treatment programmes

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


HIV/AIDS is a major threat to Malawi's development

LILONGWE, 17 January (PLUSNEWS) - HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programmes in Malawi have been boosted by a new US $14 million grant from the Global Fund.

The National AIDS Commission (NAC) said the money is to be used to purchase and distribute antiretroviral (ARV) drugs. "UNICEF [the United Nations Children's Fund] is currently the procurement agent for the Ministry of Health for health products under the Global Fund," the NAC confirmed.

The head of the ARV programme, Dr Eliab Some, told IRIN that the drugs would be made available at both government and mission hospitals throughout the country, as the UN agency and its development partners would be "distributing the ARVs to all the government-identified sites" involved in the anti-AIDS drug rollout.

Clarifying why UNICEF was playing a key role in managing the programme, Some said: "About 70 percent of the $14 million will be spent on procurement and services ... development partners would like to make sure that this money is used for its intended purpose." The Global Fund requires solid financial, procurement and supply management, as well as monitoring and evaluation of programmes.

"And ... government has admitted that it has a shortage of personnel," he added.

Some said UNICEF would ensure that systems would be in place for the widespread distribution of ARVs by June 2005, and had already distributed ARVs to 20 sites in the three regions of the country.

"After distributing the drugs to all the health centres, as agreed with government, the issue of who has benefited from it lies in the hands of government. But what the partners would need from government is a report of how the drugs have been distributed, the number of people who have benefited, and also to report whether there is need for more drugs or not. This is important because the release of [further] money will depend on how [the current funding] is being used," he explained.

The World Health Organisation is providing technical guidance on procurement of the drugs.

According to the ministry of health, the country has nearly 900,000 people living with HIV, of whom close to 10,000 currently receive free ARVs.


Recent MALAWI Reports
Community NGO breaks silence around HIV/AIDS,  27/Dec/04
Health sector gets funding boost,  9/Dec/04
Project encourages female condom use,  2/Nov/04
UN Special Envoy hails rollout efforts,  1/Nov/04
Girls clubs spearhead gender equality,  29/Oct/04
Le portail d'informations générales de la Côte d’Ivoire
The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
Youth against AIDS
Making A difference for Children Affected by AIDS

PlusNews does not take responsibility for info in links supplied.

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