31 July 2009
Global Fund Country Programs Director visits Uganda
Kampala - The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria said that it is committed to working with the government and other partners in Uganda to accelerate the implementation of Global Fund-supported HIV, tuberculosis and malaria programs.
“We are very pleased to be strengthening our relationship with Uganda, a very important partner of the Global Fund,” said Dr William Paton, Director of Country Programs of the Global Fund, who travelled to Kampala to discuss the Global Fund’s ongoing engagement and commitment in Uganda. “We acknowledge the efforts taken by the government and partners here in Uganda, particularly efforts to ensure continuous supply of anti-retrovirals and to scale-up malaria prevention activities,” he said.
“The Global Fund recently disbursed US$ 4.25 million to the Ministry of Finance for critically needed ARVs and is also in the process of finalizing the release of funds for the procurement and distribution of over 7.2 million bed nets,” he said. “This is the beginning of disbursements of new commitments, already signed, worth up to US$120 million over 24 months, for AIDS and malaria.”
The Global Fund is an important partner in Uganda’s response against the three diseases, with US$ 341 million committed and US$ 164 million disbursed over the last six years. “Uganda has demonstrated its leadership in responding to AIDS and to strengthening its health system over many years now and we will continue to support its efforts,” Dr Paton said.
Funding to Uganda was suspended after evidence came to light of mismanagement of Global Fund resources in 2005. Dr Paton’s visit demonstrates the commitment of the Global Fund to a long-term relationship with Uganda. “We will continue to support Uganda’s efforts to further strengthen its systems, and we appreciate the Government’s ongoing efforts to recover funds which were misappropriated in the past and the prosecution of those responsible,” he said.
As well as Global Fund-supported programs for HIV and AIDS, Uganda also has grants for malaria and tuberculosis. To respond to malaria, almost 2 million long-lasting bed nets have been distributed nation-wide. The new grant will provide 17.7 million bed nets over the next five years, which will provide cover for a high proportion of women and of children under five years old.