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TASO signs sh34b deal

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th August 2009 03:00 AM

THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a sh34b agreement with the AIDS Support Network to increase support to Ugandans living with HIV/AIDS.

THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a sh34b agreement with the AIDS Support Network to increase support to Ugandans living with HIV/AIDS.

By Elvis Basudde

THE United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has signed a sh34b agreement with the AIDS Support Network to increase support to Ugandans living with HIV/AIDS.

The bigger part of the five-year cooperative agreement signed on Tuesday in Mulago will address the needs of patients by giving TASO the resources to bolster community-based HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support programmes.

The grant will emphasise service delivery in partnership with public health facilities, community structures and outreaches while building the capacity of indigenous organisations.

While signing the agreement, TASO executive director, Robert Ochai, said the funding would help over 30,000 patients.

He, however, said much of the funding would be used for sensitization of the public about HIV/AIDS because the increasing infections indicate there was laxity in moral behavior.

“ The grant is provided to enable us reach approximately 60,000 individuals every year with prevention, comprehensive care and support services as well as community-based support services,” said Ochai.

USAID deputy mission director, John Mark Winfield, said they chose TASO because of its long truck record in delivering HIV/AIDS services to Ugandans. He said he was confident the assistance would be used properly.

The support to TASO comes at a time when people living with HIV/AIDS in the country have had difficulties in getting ARVs after most donors affected by the credit crunch reduced their spending in Africa.

The founder of TASO, Dr. Noerine Kaleeba, thanked the America Government for the funding, adding that the relationship between TASO and the people of America was historical and it had been a long journey of activism.

USAID Chief, in charge of HIV/AIDS in Uganda, Elise Ayers said TASO had chosen to lead this agreement with USAID because of its innovative approaches and outstanding leadership in the Ugandan civil society.

“TASO is the best partner able to leverage their passion to serve with a wealth of knowledge and lessons learned for the betterment of HIV and AIDS patients in Uganda,” she said.

Funding for this agreement comes through USAID from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief , the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history.

Since 2003, the US government already has provided over $18.8b in HIV/AIDS funding worldwide, with a reauthorization of up to $48 billion for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria over the next five years.

TASO signs sh34b deal

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