Boost for war on Aids

South Africa has received a major boost to fight Aids, TB and Malaria, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said yesterday.

“The Global Fund have approved a total of up to $302 million (R2.1 billion) funding for South Africa over a period of five years for the tenth round of grants for prevention, treatment and care of Aids and TB,” he said.

Motsoaledi said the grand was the highest amount received from the Global Fund, it covers for the first time, treatment, it also includes health systems strengthening and scaling up of medical male circumcisions.

“We welcome the grant particularly the contribution to Aids treatment. It will allow us to put more people early on treatment and it will improve health outcomes as well as avert Aids-related deaths,” Motsoaledi said.

“A total of $196 million was for Aids treatments, $33 million for medical male circumcision, and a significant amount of $10 million for strengthening health systems and community response in respect of HIV/Aids and TB, and $8 million for direct support of the TB programmes.”

“This is a major addition to our R4.2 billion tender for procurement of antiretroviral drugs to support the implementation of HIV and Aids treatment in South Africa for the next two years effective from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2012.”

The fund would be used to support priority areas such as increase HIV and TB case finding and linkages to care at community level through HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT).

To ensure rapid roll out of safe medical male circumcision targeting underserved, high burden areas.

Expand access to ART according to updated national guidelines and Isonaizid Prophylaxis Therapy (IPT), strengthen pharmacovigilance and resistance monitoring and reduce adverse events related to ART, TB and related medicines, strengthen health systems supporting HIV/Aids as well as strengthen governments and civil society capacity to manage the response to HIV/Aids.

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