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Uganda spends US$400 million on ARVs

By Carol Natukunda

Added 4th November 2019 02:14 PM

At least 1.4 million people in Uganda are living with HIV, according to the 2018 UNAIDS statistics.

Uganda spends US$400 million on ARVs

At least 1.4 million people in Uganda are living with HIV, according to the 2018 UNAIDS statistics.

 
 
State Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Bahati. File Photo
 
Uganda spends US$400 million annually on procuring antiretroviral drugs for people living with HIV.
 
According to the State Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development David Bahati, the government only contributes 10 percent of this expenditure. 
 
"The rest (of the money) comes from development partners. If they pulled out, we would be in a crisis," said Bahati.
 
At least 1.4 million people in Uganda are living with HIV, according to the 2018 UNAIDS statistics. 
 
The HIV prevalence—the percentage of people living with HIV—among adults (15-49 years) is 5.7%.
 
Although Uganda has made huge strides in fighting HIV/AIDS, the threat is still enormous.
 
In a bid to curb the epidemic; the country is currently implementing an ambitious 90-90-90 target particularly among men and young people. This target means that by next year, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their status; 90% of all people diagnosed with HIV will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy; and lastly, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression
 
Bahati implored Members of Parliament to rise up to the challenge and talk to people about preventing infections.
 
"We cannot talk about health issues on the continent without talking about HIV. We are spending a lot of resources on it. We need momentum. As MPs, we can make an impact by talking to our people about it," said Bahati.
 
He made the remarks on October 30, while closing the meeting of the Network of African Parliamentary Committees of Health(NEAPACOH) in Kampala.
 
Organized by the Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office, the three-day meeting sought to, among other issues, provide space for discussions with policymakers and provide a way forward on improving reproductive health and family planning services.
 
Minister Bahati stressed that investing in a population would help the country reap the demographic dividend. 
 
"Healthy people contribute to the economy.  Look at the population as an asset.  We should confront the challenges to make sure that the population is a resource," he said.
 
The meeting which comprised of delegates from 22 African countries made a number of commitments including the integration of reproductive health and family planning into national development plans and strategies across sectors.
 
This comes just days to the  25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), slated for November 12 -15 in Nairobi.
 
The ICPD is a programme of action that recognizes that reproductive health, as well as women's empowerment and gender equality, are the pathway to sustainable development. 
 
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