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K38.1bn for TB, HIV, malaria fight

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The Global Fund has allocated Malawi $512,939,077 (K381.1 billion) for management of HIV, tuberculosis, malaria and building resilience and sustainable systems for health (RSSH).

The board of Global Fund made the decision in November 2019 on the funding for 2020- 2022 period.

In a letter dated December 16 2019, sent to the Secretary for Treasury, Cliff Chiunda, Global Fund Division Head for Grant Management, Mark Eldon- Edington, said the allocation was determined based on the disease burden and income level.

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Malawi is classified as a low income country.

“It is essential that we focus on reducing incidences and scaling-up effective prevention efforts, invest in strengthening both health and community systems, priotise our investments with key and vulnerable populations and ensure we tackle human rights-related barriers to health and gender inequalities,” he said

He said Global Fund appreciates efforts made in Malawi to priotise incidence reduction in adolescent girls and young women.

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“The forthcoming allocation period provides an opportunity for the country to refine and streamline investments targeting this highly vulnerable group. The Global Fund requests careful consideration of the programe concept and use evidence, normative guidance to support improvement of programme quality and scale up service delivery,” he said.

Ministry of Health and Population spokesperson, Joshua Malango, said the funds will help the ministry to save more people from the epidemics.

“We have done so well in utilisation of the funds. Previously, we used to utilise the 30 percent of the total grant but as of the last audit, we had utilised over 75 percent of the funds of 2018-2020. We are very committed to helping save more Malawians in the health sector,” he said

According to Global Fund, Malawi has a chance to secure more funds beyond the current allocation.

“Accessing the 2020-2022 allocation is dependent on meeting the Global Fund’s co-financing requirements. [Some] 15 percent of Malawi’s allocation is a co-financing incentive accessible when Malawi makes and realises additional domestic commitments targeted as per the requirements of the Sustainability, Transition and Co-Financing (STC) policy,” the letter reads

The funds include $8.9 million for HIV Prevention Programming in the categories of adolescent Girls and Young Women in High Prevalence Settings and Condom Programming.

The country has also an opportunity to get $2 million for TB preventive treatment for people living with HIV with a family approach priority area.

According to UNAIDS data, Malawi is one of the countries with a high HIV prevalence rate in the world despite the impressive progress the country has made in controlling its HIV epidemic in recent years.

The data shows that young people are particularly at risk due to early sexual debut, with 50 percent of new HIV infections affecting those aged 15-24 in Malawi.

Ministry of Health recently also said The proportion of TB/ HIV co-infected patients has reduced to 53 percent from 77 percent in 2003.

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