President Paul Biya and wife, Chantal who arrived in Lyon yesterday, October 08, will be participating fully in the international fund raising initiative.
It clocked 6:45 pm local time, 5:45 pm Cameroon time when the plane transporting President Paul Biya and wife Chantal touched down at the St. Exupery Airport in Lyon on the invitation of the French President, Emmanuel Macron to take part in the very important conference aimed at scaling down the death toll caused by HIV AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The arrival of the Presidential couple was greeted hilariously by an over 100 chanting Cameroonians including militants of the CPDM who assembled at the entrance to his hotel residence. President Biya will be joined by other World leaders including heads of State and governments to seal the fate of the three deadly diseases which continue to take the lives of millions the World over. The Lyon Conference which is meeting in its sixth session, is a logical follow up and implementation of the commitment taken in India in January this year for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to raise 14 billion US dollars or over (CFA 8000 billion) to save 16 million lives, prevent 234 million infections and significantly eradicate these diseases between 2021 and 2023. The presence of the Cameroon Head of State and wife is certainly not by chance considering the important role the country has played so far in fighting these diseases. In effect, since 2003, the Government of Cameroon has signed 15 grant agreements with the Global Fund to fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. These agreements, including seven for HIV, five for malaria and three for tuberculosis, amounted to nearly CFA 198 billion.
The Global Fund which is the largest donor to Cameroon's fight against HIV released 10 million dollars to complete the year 2013 and 20 million dollars in 2014. For the period 2018-2020, four new agreements with a total budget of CFA 108 billion were signed between the Global Fund and the Government of Cameroon. In accordance with the Global Fund's allocation policy, to access the full amount disbursed for 2018-2020, the country must meet the co-financing requirements representing the payment of 20 per cent of the Global Fund allocation for each disease component is subject to increased co-financing of the disease control programme and/or investments in resilient and sustainable health systems beyond the level of investment made by the Government during the previous period. To date, there is a delay by the Government of Cameroon in paying all of its contributions. This delay is worrisome because there are risks of treatment interruptions that will have repercussions on the health of the population, especially those who are highly at risk, such as women, people living with HIV and young people.
This readily explains the urgency to honour the engagement and develop a community action plan to strengthen the advocacy already undertaken via Cameroon's counterpart funds. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) supports the demand of the Cameroonian civil society and is active so that Cameroon can mobilise the necessary resources. That said, it should be noted that there has been a decline in the HIV prevalence rate in Cameroon, from 4.3 per cent in 2011 to 3.4 per cent in 2018, with a number of people living with HIV in 2016 estimated at 560 000. The participation of President Biya in the conference that opens today, October 09, 2019 is extremely crucial for the population of Cameroon