Saturday January 18 2014

Government told to speed up HIV/ Aids Trust Fund

By Agatha Ayebazibwe


Several organisations involved in the HIV/Aids response have asked government to hasten the establishment of the HIV/Aids Trust Fund to address the funding gaps as well as reduce donor reliance.

The proposed funding mechanism – the HIV Trust Fund was endorsed by Parliament in 2012, with an aim of creating a separate fund from the Ministry of Health budget to specifically tackle the HIV epidemic in the country.

The UNAIDS Country Coordinator, Mr Musa Bungundu, while speaking at the Civil Society Fund workshop in Kampala yesterday, said there is urgent need to mobilise funds locally to address HIV response, saying it is the only sustainable way to address the problem.

Dangerous situation
“It is not sustainable to have a national programme responding to a national problem which is 90 per cent funded by donors. And I think this is very risky and could be disastrous if the donors pulled out when the country does not have an alternative source of funds,” he said.

According to Dr Enid Wamani, the Director for Partnership at the Uganda Aids, the proposal is awaiting the president’s endorsement before they can kick start it.

Presently, about 577,000 people are on Anti-retroviral treatment but close to 90 per cent of this treatment is donor-funded Under PEPFAR and Global Fund, including the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV, which is 100 per cent funded by the American government.