Government seeks funding for five-year HIV/AIDS plan
Bujumbura, Burundi (IRIN) – Burundi is seeking US$349 million for its National Strategic Plan (NSP) to fight HIV/AIDS over the next five years.
Efforts to raise the money have already begun: The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has pledged $90 million for 2012-2014, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), through Family Health International, has pledged $10 million, specifically for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission.
The government has promised to provide about $3 million per year until 2014. “We know that Burundi is poor but we are going to ask it to redouble its efforts,” said Jean Rirangira, the permanent executive secretary of the National Council for the Fight against AIDS (CNLS).
The promised funds will leave a significant gap in funding for the plan; the government says it is hoping more donors – specifically those in the private sector – will provide additional money.
The plan’s elements include prevention, care and support, reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS and monitoring, compliance and follow-up evaluations, said Rirangira.
The prevention component aims to reduce the “HIV prevalence in the general population and among high risk groups by 50 percent”, he said. In addition, the plan also aims to “reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission from 23.7 percent today to 2 percent by 2016.”
Under the plan, condom use in young people and other vulnerable groups will also be increased, making them available at places such as hotels, schools and social spaces such as dance halls.
The government intends to raise the number of sexually active people accessing screening services from 788,216 in 2012 to 1,738,445 by 2016, and increase the amount of blood screened for HIV and available for use in health facilities.
The NSP says “90 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS will benefit from comprehensive services, including home care.”
Rirangira explained that care and support was the most expensive component because it includes helping HIV-positive people with income-generating activities; for example, 25,595 poor patients on antiretroviral therapy will benefit, as will 15,180 infected orphans or affected heads of households. Orphans will also be assisted with school supplies and fees and street children, numbering about 1,500, will be assisted and sent to school.
– Provided by Integrated Regional Information Networks.