The Global Fund is encouraging Myanmar to ask for some new money in its request for continued funding for its two HIV grants, in order to permit a faster scale-up of antiretroviral treatment (ART). The encouragement came following a visit to Myanmar by General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo in August 2012.
An article by the news agency IRIN cites the UNAIDS coordinator for Myanmar, Eamonn Murphy, as saying that new funds will allow the country to close a treatment gap where only one-third of the 120,000 people nationwide who need ARVs receive them.
According to Mr Murphy, health officials in Myanmar have drafted a concept note outlining how additional funding might be used. The concept note outlines two scenarios, Mr Murphy said: the first ensures 85% of those who need ART receive it by 2015 and the second scenario envisages that 76% will be covered.
The HIV grants are a single-stream-of-funding (SSF) grants that are reaching the end of their first implementation period. The principal recipients (PRs) for the grants are the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and Save the Children. A spokesperson for the Global Fund Secretariat told GFO that Myanmar’s concept note will be assessed by a review panel which will then make a recommendation to the Board. If further funding is approved, the country will not be required to submit a new proposal. Instead, it will be asked to revise the documents related to implementation of each of the current grants – including the workplan and budget, the procurement and supply management plan, and the performance framework – to include the additional resources.
Both grants are currently rated B1 by the Global Fund.
UNAIDS estimates that 18,000 people die of AIDS-related illnesses annually in Myanmar.
In addition to seeking to expand ARV access, Myanmar is expected to ask for additional money to combat TB. The country’s TB SSF grants are also nearing the end of their first implementation period. Myanmar’s TB prevalence is nearly three times the global average and twice the regional average, according to a 2010 survey by the country’s TB programme and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Some of the information for this article was taken from an online article published by IRIN.