The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has announced five grants totaling $226 million in support of efforts to fight HIV and tuberculosis in Uganda.
The grants will enable the Ugandan government to continue its HIV education and prevention programs and expand the provision of antiretroviral treatment (ART) to people living with HIV, including expectant mothers. The government hopes to increase rates of ART coverage for people living with HIV from 44 percent in 2014 to 69 percent in 2017 and the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission from 85 percent to 90 percent by the end of 2016. To that end, the country's joint tuberculosis and HIV control program will test all Ugandans with TB for HIV and offer ART to co-infected TB/HIV patients during their TB treatment. With its first nationwide TB prevalence survey nearly complete, the government also will expand efforts to identify TB cases and improve treatment success rates. In addition, the government and the AIDS Support Organisation of Uganda will engage community groups and leaders in reforming harmful gender-based and socially discriminatory practices that hinder access to health services among vulnerable populations, including women.
Bilateral donors providing funding for the effort include the European Union and the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, and South Korea.
"We are committed to efficient utilization of funds and guarantee stewardship to ensure maximization of the monies," said Ugandan health minister Elioda Tumwesigye. "To attain this commitment, there is need for increased and sustained funding to ensure testing and treatment for all who are in need and request for holistic support and full country coverage."