18 May 2017

East Africa: Trump Increases HIV/Aids Funding to Uganda

Photo: Daily Monitor
U.S. president Donald Trump.

Kampala — The United States (US) government has increased its assistance to HIV treatment and prevention in Uganda by about Shs40 billion from last year's $391(Shs1.41 trillion) to $402 million (Shs1.45trillion) this year.

The money is intended to strengthen health and laboratory systems and to provide essential HIV commodities, including lifesaving medicines to health facilities and patients.

Extended through the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the funds will support Uganda's efforts to realise the ambitious "90-90-90" goals.

The goals mean by the year 2020, 90 per cent of all people living with HIV will know their status; 90 per cent of all people diagnosed with HIV will be on Anti-Retroviral (ARV) therapy; and 90 per cent of the people receiving ARVs will have viral suppression.

US Ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac said improving the well-being of every Ugandan is critical to achieving the country's full potential, highlighting the key role this assistance will play in creating a brighter future for the country.

"A healthy life ultimately produces a prosperous future," she said, adding that "...the US government remains committed to reducing the threat of HIV/Aids and building a healthy future for all."

Currently, HIV/Aids prevalence in Uganda is estimated at 7.3 per cent as per the last survey in 2011.

The increment comes at a time when Cabinet has just proposed to allocate two per cent of collections from taxes on alcoholic and soft beverages to finance the Aids Trust Fund (ATF). This is intended to address the resource gaps in the fight against HIV, as well as to reduce reliance on donor support.

Since 2004, PEPFAR has invested nearly $4 billion in building Uganda's capacity to respond to HIV/Aids and improving the overall health of Ugandans.

PEPFAR-funded programmes are currently providing more than 890,000 Ugandans with life-saving ARV therapy, roughly 93 per cent of all those receiving such treatment.

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