Global Fund partners in eastern and southern Africa have resolved to undertake robust country dialogues and advocate for an increase in domestic financing to boost the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.
This declaration was made at the eastern and southern Africa regional meeting on the Global Fund’s new funding model (NFM), held between 6-9 April 2014 in Windhoek, Namibia. The objective of the meeting was to discuss the NFM and examine how to make Global Fund investments achieve the greatest possible impact.
The meeting was attended by more than 150 delegates from Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Eritrea, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Rwanda, South Sudan and Swaziland.
The delegates, who were drawn from government, civil society and the private sector, also resolved to implement programs that target all key affected populations disproportionately affected by the three diseases and to ensure that human rights are addressed as a central tenet of program development, implementation and evaluation.
Participation of women and adolescents will also be a key pillar when designing programs for the three diseases, the delegates resolved.
“Let us make efforts to talk to our governments so that they can increase the level of domestic finances invested in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis and malaria,” said Dr Richard Kamwi, Namibia’s Minister of Health and Social Services. “It is the best way to ensure sustainability of the gains we have made against these diseases in the last decade.”
Professor Sheila Tlou, Director of UNAIDS regional support team for eastern and southern Africa, urged the delegates to ensure that marginalized people not only get prevention and treatment but are also involved in decision-making.
“Key populations remain a sensitive topic in our continent, and we have not done enough to ensure access to health and social services to those who are marginalized. A special focus on young women and girls will pave the way to healthy new generations of young people that can positively transform the development of Africa,” Professor Tlou said.
She said that the Namibia workshop is a continuation of efforts that the Global Fund, UNAIDS, WHO and other partners have initiated to ensure that countries not only prepare successful concept note applications, but more importantly, seek resources for priority investments that will yield high sustainable impact.
Cynthia Mwase, regional manager for eastern and southern Africa at the Global Fund, said the meeting was organized to help Global Fund partners in the region to prepare to attain impact through the $1.7 billion now available for the funding period.
“The new funding model integrates human rights and partnership into new grants, and also provides a strategic roadmap on how the region can remove the three diseases as threats to public health,” Mwase said.
Eastern and southern Africa is the region that is most affected by the HIV epidemic. Almost half of the global new HIV infections occurred in the region in 2012, according to UNAIDS. However, there has been remarkable progress over the years with HIV incidence declining by 43% between 2001 and 2012.