The Global Fund has pumped in a $460 million (about K338 billion) grant towards the reduction of illnesses and deaths related to HIV and Aids, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria in the country in an effort to eliminate HIV by 2030.
Announcing the grant at a press briefing yesterday, Global Fund senior fund portfolio manager Musoke Sempla said Malawi has been a Global Fund partner for 15 years and the support they have been rendering to the country seems to be bearing fruits.
“The support we give has made tremendous impact on people’s lives. This grant we are making now, we are sure that it will be used accordingly,” he said.
Minister for Health and Population Atupele Muluzi said this is the largest amount the country has received to date.
He said: “I am grateful for the renewed confidence in government by Global Fund to be able to implement such a programme. We are keen to focus our attention on what is required.”
In March, government submitted a funding request to Global Fund for the period 2018-2020 which has since been approved.
The 2018- 2020 fund has seen Action Aid and World Vision International as principal recipients of the grant who are going to work with government.
ActionAid executive director Grace Malera said the grant remains one of the most important enablers of the national response HIV and Aids, TB and malaria.
She said the grant provides an opportunity for them to reach out to more people, especially adolescent girls, and also support people living with HIV.
“The grant gives us confidence that in these three years, we will be able to reduce new infections even further and strive towards achieving our goal of reducing HIV infections by 2030.” She said.
HIV prevalence in Malawi is declining overall, with new infections reducing from 55 000 in 2011 to 34 000 in 2013.
Out of the grant, $33 million (about K24.7 billion) has been earmarked for HIV and TB interventions while $31.5 million (about K23.6 billion) will fund Resilient Sustainable Systems for Health aimed at supporting delivery of HIV, TB and malaria national response.
About 800 000 people living with HIV are expected to benefit from this grant and over 14 million anti-malaria treatments are expensive to be given. Furthermore, about seven mobile TB diagnostic vans equipped with X-ray machines have been procured to be distributed evenly throughout the country, with Lilongwe and Blantyre getting two each, while Mangochi, Zomba and Mzuzu will receive one each. n