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Wednesday 21 December 2005
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IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 248, 26 August 2005


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


NEWS:

UGANDA: Global fund suspends anti-AIDS grants
SWAZILAND: Traditional chastity vow may have lowered teenage HIV rates
NAMIBIA: US $30.7 million Global Fund grant to benefit recipients

CONFERENCES/ EVENTS/ RESEARCH/ RESOURCES:

JOB OPPORTUNITIES:

LINKS:

1. Tracking the Monster: Ashley Judd and India.Arie Confront AIDS in Africa



UGANDA: Global fund suspends anti-AIDS grants

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced a suspension of all its grants to Uganda on Wednesday due to "evidence of serious mismanagement" of the funds.

Ugandan health minister Jim Muhwezi said the suspension would disrupt the country's hitherto successful anti-AIDS campaign.

"I have got that communication," Muhwezi told IRIN on Wednesday. "They are concerned about certain issues that they want clarified, and so they have suspended grants to us."

He added: "It is a disruption of the anti-AIDS programme, but we hope that we can be able to sort out what they want in a short time."

More details



SWAZILAND: Traditional chastity vow may have lowered teenage HIV rates

As a generation of young Swazi women end a five-year vow of chastity in a traditional ceremony this week, health officials are debating the impact of the custom on reducing the risk of HIV infection.

"We have loads of anecdotal evidence that girls are using the 'sex ban' as a way to avoid unwanted intercourse with demanding boyfriends and even older men. That is proof enough that some good has occurred - no one expected the custom to eliminate premarital sex entirely," said Goodness Simelane, an HIV councillor in the central commercial town of Manzini.

The custom is known as "umcwasho", after the tasselled woollen headgear worn by young women for five years: powder blue and yellow for teenagers from puberty up to 18 years old; red and yellow for women aged 19 to 24.

It was re-introduced in 2001 as the government tried to rise to the challenge of AIDS in a country where an estimated 40 percent of adults are HIV-positive - the highest infection rate in the world.

More details



NAMIBIA: US $30.7 million Global Fund grant to benefit recipients

HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria initiatives in Namibia are set to benefit from the US $30.7 million granted to the country nearly 10 months ago by the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The health ministry last week distributed the second tranche of US $6.4 million in financial aid from the Geneva-based Fund to NGOs and government ministries.

"This is one of the largest distributions of funds to stakeholders in Namibia, and I call on you all to adhere to transparency, accountability and sound management," health minister Dr Richard Kamwi urged on Friday.

Although Namibia's grant was approved during the Global Fund's second call for funding proposals in 2003, an agreement to disburse the funds was only signed in November last year.

More details



LINKS:

1. Tracking the Monster: Ashley Judd and India.Arie Confront AIDS in Africa

This is a link to the 90-minute documentary, airing on 29 August 2005 on VH1, which chronicles two emotional journeys to Africa by Golden Globe nominee Ashley Judd and Grammy winner India.Arie as they travel to the front lines of the global fight against HIV/AIDS.

Through their eyes and in their own words, Judd and India.Arie tell the stories of lives forever changed by the pandemic, and witness how the disease is decimating communities in Kenya and Madagascar.

Their week of volunteer work was in association with local projects funded by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

View the film and photo gallery online at: www.vh1.com

[ENDS]




 
Recent AFRICA Reports
Global Fund withdraws support for loveLife ,  19/Dec/05
IRIN PlusNews Weekly Issue 264, 16 December 2005,  16/Dec/05
Children suffer despite growing humanitarian efforts - UNICEF,  15/Dec/05
New drugs urgently needed,  14/Dec/05
Effective AIDS response needs more than abstinence,  9/Dec/05
Links
AIDS Media Center
Le portail d'informations générales de la Côte d’Ivoire
VIH Internet
Sida Info Services
Aides

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