Global Fund on AIDS, TB and
The Daily News,
By Liz Clarke
2007 a staggering $15-billion a year (more than R156-billion at the current
exchange rate) will be needed to combat Aids on a global scale, according to the
latest estimate by United Nations resource and economics experts.
in the short term $6,5-billion (R68-billion) will be needed to fight the
epidemic in 2003, which means that funding from all sources will have to double
from the present levels.
question is, can the Global Fund set up to fight Aids, TB and malaria cope with
such a mammoth cost?
is one of the sobering questions that Global Fund executive board members will
be asking at their annual meeting in
However if the process of introducing treatment programmes takes too long, mounting pressures on the Global Fund could see South Africa "miss the boat".
the first round payments of R800-million from the Fund to fight HIV and Aids in KwaZulu-Natal
still sitting in the World Bank, only a portion of what has been promised by the
Fund has actually reached
On the government's side, one of the major stumbling blocks to providing antiretroviral medicines to HIV-positive patients in the public sector has been the high cost of the drugs.
The drugs are currently available only in the private sector, although in the past few months an increasing number of companies have announced plans to make antiretrovirals available to their HIV-positive workers.
The cabinet said after the meeting that it was "actively engaged" in creating the conditions that would make it "feasible and effective" to provide antiretroviral medicines in public hospitals and clinics.
But the government's about turn comes at a time when the Global Fund is facing immediate cash flow problems.