Government needs about sh2.2trillion for HIV/Aids response by the year 2016, money that is required to procure antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, HIV test kits and other related supplies.
By Violet Nabatanzi
KAMPALA - Government needs about sh2.2trillion for HIV/Aids response by the year 2016, money that is required to procure antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, HIV test kits and other related supplies.
Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, the state minister for general duties at the ministry of health, said government plans to increase the number of people on treatment up to about 1.4 million within the same time frame.
He said this at the presentation of preliminary findings of the Countdown to 2015: Getting to Zero campaign at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
Mid-this year, a total of 680,514 people were enrolled on ARV treatment out of the 1,447,859 people who require the drugs.
This was a detail contained in a speech by President Yoweri Museveni, represented at the presentation by his deputy Edward Ssekandi.
In the delivery – which VP Ssekandi read – the president said Aids-related deaths have “significantly reduced” thanks to “expanded coverage in treatment”.
He illustrated this improvement, comparing the performance today with that of 10 years ago when only 40,000 Ugandans were enrolled on treatment.
Museveni said mostly young people should be targeted with HIV/Aids messages. “I am glad to learn that a message-clearing committee has been set up to scrutinize all HIV/Aids messages that are disseminated to our communities.”
According to the president, the four-year National HIV/Aids strategic plan 2011/12-2014/15 and the national HIV prevention strategic plan 2011-2015 have shown momentous achievements in the fight against the disease in the recent past.
In the last three years alone, there has been a reduction in the number of people found to have new infections – from 162,000 in 2011 to 137,00 in 2013.
Meanwhiile, Minister Tumwesigye said the uptake of HIV counseling and testing has increased to 66 percent (%) among females and 46 percent (%) among males, up from less than 14 percent in 2004/5.
The preliminary report recommended that the campaign should be reflected in urban council budgets and that leadership engagement be maintained as an entry point in national HIV/AIDS prevention strategies.
Presenting the initial findings, the country director Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/Aids in Africa (AMICALL) Titus Twesige said urban councils have the highest prevalence of HIV/Aids of 8.7% compared to rural at 7%.
Musa Bungudu, The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAID) country director suggested that if every ministry and district contributed 2% of their budget towards the Aids Trust Fund , more people would be treated.
“If this contribution can be made, at least 1000 to 2000 people can be put on treatment.”
Gov’t needs sh2.2trillion for HIV/Aids by 2016