Zimbabwe earns praise for US$1 million pledge to Global Fund

23 Sep, 2022 - 00:09 0 Views
Zimbabwe earns praise for US$1 million pledge to Global Fund United States President Joe Biden

The Chronicle

Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu, Senior Health Reporter
ZIMBABWE has been commended for pledging to contribute US$1 million to the Global Fund in support of efforts to end the HIV and Aids, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria.

Created in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership designed to accelerate the end of HIV and Aids, TB and malaria as epidemics in low and middle income countries.

As an international organisation, the Global Fund mobilises and invests more than US$4 billion a year in support of programmes run by local experts in more than 100 countries.

Speaking during 7th Replenishment Conference hosted by the United States President Joe Biden, President Mnangagwa pledged Zimbabwe’s commitment towards the fund in line with Government’s obligation.

He said Zimbabwe last year received US$ 2,6 billion from the Global Fund.

“In the recent cycle of funding Zimbabwe received US$592 million for the period 2021-2023. We spread it this way: US$56 million for HIV, US$62 million for malaria and US$25 million for TB. Zimbabwe received US$98 million for the Covid-19 support and we are grateful for our partners and Joe Biden for convening the meeting for us to pledge. Despite economic challenges we will contribute US$1 million,” said President Mnangagwa.

HIV, TB and malaria are the three most serious infectious diseases in the world causing high morbidity and mortality rates especially in low-income and middle-income countries.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to end the three diseases as a public health threat by 2030.

For more than 20 years, the Global Fund has enabled Zimbabwe to fight the three diseases and to date the country boasts of one of the highest antiretroviral coverages in the world.

Aids mortality significantly declined by 71,9 percent from 488 in 2010 to 137 in 2020 per 100 000.

About 22 000 people died of Aids-related illnesses in Zimbabwe last year with reports that the highest number of deaths were recorded in Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South, Harare and Mashonaland West provinces.

The figure has however relatively gone down compared to five years ago when more than 30 000 people died of the disease annually.

From the first case detected in the mid-1980s, HIV spread rapidly in Zimbabwe during the first decade.

By the mid-1990s, one-quarter of adults in the country were infected with HIV and the infections were driven by heterosexual intercourse.

Recent statistics show that Zimbabwe has a 11,9 percent HIV prevalence, the fifth highest in Africa, translating to about 1,3 million people living with HIV.

In a statement the Community Working Group on Health director Mr Itai Rusike expressed gratitude to Government for the generous contribution of US$1 million to the Global Fund.

Mr Itai Rusike

“We note with gratitude Zimbabwe’s contribution to the global goal to end the epidemic of HIV, TB and Malaria. Zimbabwe’s contribution and commitment as an implementer of the Global Fund supported programmes has ensured that HIV, TB and Malaria responses are delivered through investments in resilient and sustainable systems for health,” he said.

 

“The effectiveness of the Global Fund is made possible by donors and contributors like Zimbabwe and has proved its worth in the wake of Covid-19 – the worst health crisis faced by the modern world.”

Mr Rusike said the Global Fund has remained the biggest donor for public health programmes in the country and has resulted in major gains in the fight against the killer diseases.

“Zimbabwe’s contribution has led to a successful refill of the Global Fund resource basket and this will have a high impact on the sustainable control of the three diseases and contribute to achieving Universal Health Coverage as well as Sustainable Development Goal 3,” he said.–@thamamoe

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