THE Global Fund has availed an additional $502 million towards Zimbabwe’s healthcare which will go towards supporting HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria programmes for the next three years.
By Michael Gwarisa
The grants will be implemented by the Ministry of Health and Child and Child Care (MOHCC) and UNDP in collaboration with Civil Society Organizations and the National AIDS Council (NAC).
Officiating at the Grant launch, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenhyatwa said the $500 million grant will be able to sustain the gains made so far in fighting the HIV epidemic and Tuberculosis.
“We are gathered here to witness the signing of a grant worth almost half a billion USD, (About $483million) for the next three years. This amount is in support of our national response against the three diseases (HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria) and to build resilient systems for health.
“We are indeed grateful to the global fund for allocating that amount to our country. This is not the first time the country has received support from the global fund. Since the inception of global fund in 2002, Zimbabwe has received more than $1 billion. Over the years the global fund has increased its support to become the largest donor partner in the entire health sector in Zimbabwe. This is very commendable,” said Dr Parirenyatwa.
He added that with support from the grant we are signing today and support from other partners, the country’s priority is to be able to sustain the gains made so far through optimization of grant and government resources. He also said Zimbabwe remains committed to the 90-90-90 targets for HIV, the malaria pre-elimination agenda and the stop TB targets of ending TB by 2030.
Zimbabwe has made considerable progress in its response against malaria, HIV and TB and in building resilient and sustainable systems for health (RSSH). HIV prevalence has decreased by 28% over the last decade, TB incidence has dropped by nearly 60% over the same period, and investments made in improving quality of care such as integrated electronic patient tracking system. The country has increased number of districts classified in pre-elimination strata from 7 in 2014 to 22 by December 2016, with mortality declining by 57% from 1,069 deaths in 2003 to 462 deaths in 2015.
“With support from the global fund and other partners Zimbabwe has made remarkable strides in improving the health status of its people: Annual new infections have dropped by 58% from 85,450 in 2008 to 36,291 in 2017. Aids related deaths have declined by 66% from to 78,634 in 2008 to 26,645 in 2017. More than $1million people living with HIV/AIDS are on ART.
“Because of the success of the ART program, the availability of technologically advanced diagnostic tools and effective Anti-TB medicines, TB notifications have declined significantly and the country is one of the few countries that may achieve the end TB targets by 2030. Annually 7 million people are protected from malaria through indoor residual spraying and more than 6 million nets have been distributed. The malaria incidence dropped by 54% from 617,175 in 2010 to 280,842 in 2016,” added Dr Parirenyatwa.
American Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Thomas Harry Junior said the new grant was step in the right direction for Zimbabwe and the United States government was keen on seeing Zimbabwe win the battle against HIV and TB.
“The United States government believes that epidemic control can only be achieved by addressing the unique HIV prevention and care needs of all individuals.
“That’s why I’m glad to know that this grant has secured matching funds that are earmarked towards improved access to comprehensive services for Key Populations, which includes men who have sex with men, female sex workers, and young adolescent girls, like Sithandekile whom I mentioned earlier, should surely benefit from this grant. We believe that through transparency, accountability, and the power of partnership, these resources can accelerate progress, even within a context of financial constraints and economic challenges.”
He added that the U.S. government applauds Zimbabwe for developing a technically sound proposal and being a successful early applicant to the new funding model. Grant accountability has also fared well as Nicolae-Daniel Petrescu and the Office of the Inspectorate General can attest, and we are proud to be associated with such performance. The United States is pleased with its longstanding relationship with the Global Fund, and we are proud to be its largest contributor, pledging over $4 billion during this fifth replenishment period.
Meanwhile, UN Resident Coordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli said UNDP plays a key role in supporting countries facing challenging circumstances to access Global Fund resources and has worked closely with the Government of Zimbabwe over the last 15 years to support the delivery of life-saving HIV services, while simultaneously strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
“The UN and UNDP are proud to be strategic partners in managing the Global Fund grants and supporting the three diseases – Malaria, TB and HIV. Through the strategic partnership, we have brought innovations through new technologies such as solar for health equipment,”
“We are also supporting capacity strengthening in public finance management system, supply chain system and internal audit and ensuring value for money and significant savings through procurement and supply chain and low management cost” explained the UN Resident Coordinator,” said t, Mr Bishow Parajuli.
Out of the total funding, US$ 426 million will focus on ensuring universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services. This will include a specific focus on eliminating mother-to-child HIV transmission and ensuring prevention programmes are serving adolescents and youth and key populations most at risk of HIV.