Global Fund Hands over R1.2 Billion for Province's HIV/Aids Programme
The Western Cape Department of Health has been granted R1.2 billion (over the next 6 years) for provincial HIV/AIDS programmes by the Global Fund.
Officiating the function with the Premier of the Western Cape, Helen Zille, was Dr. Fareed Abdullah, Director of the Africa Unit of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Dr. Abdullah is a former Health Deputy Director General for this province, and a well-known champion of the HIV/AIDS cause in Africa.
Western Cape Minister of Health, Theuns Botha, said the province is proud that the Department of Health was at the frontline and a torchbearer for antiretrovirals for HIV sufferers. "The Global Fund's enormously generous contribution is a fitting endorsement of the trailblazing work undertaken in this Province against the pandemic by civil society and government alike."
The event was also attended by the Ambassador of Switzerland, Mr. Rudolf Baerfuss, and the Swiss Consul-General in Cape Town, Mrs. Irene Flückiger.
In 2003, the Global Fund approved a grant to the Western Cape, aimed at strengthening and expanding the provincial HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care programme. The initial grant programme, to the value of $66,5 million (US) (approximately R490 million), had been successfully implemented in the Western Cape over the past six (6) years - July 2004 till June 2010 - under the oversight of the Provincial AIDS Council.
Based on their positive assessment of the impact of the provincial HIV/AIDS programme in the Western Cape and the potential sustainability of the programme, the Global Fund in July 2009, invited the Western Cape to apply for "Rolling Continuation Channel" (RCC) funding for the grant programme for a further six (6) years (July 2010 - June 2016). The Western Cape's application for further funding was submitted to the Global Fund in December 2009. That application has been approved by the Global Fund and will provide ongoing support of the provincial HIV/AIDS programme to the value of approximately $ 133 million (US) (R 1,064 million) over the next six (6) year period.
The RCC Grant is structured in two (2) phases of three (3) years each, and the agreement between the Global Fund and the Provincial Health Department (as principal recipient of the grant) for the first three (3) year phase is expected to be signed within the next two (2) weeks.
The grant is expected to contribute significantly to the following aspects of the provincial HIV/AIDS programme:
The latter three interventions will very largely be implemented by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). Over the course of the six (6) year "RCC" period approximately thirty percent (30%) of the grant funding will be channelled to these civil society organisations in the province.
About the Global Fund
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was established in 2001 to dramatically increase the resources available to fight three (3) of the world's most devastating diseases, and to direct those resources to areas of greatest need. The Global Fund Board includes representatives of donor and recipient governments, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the communities affected by the three (3) diseases. For more information on the Global Fund, visit their website.
Western Cape Department of Health
- It will, during the next three years, provide the required funding for the provision of ARV treatment to approximately twenty percent (20%) of the people expected to be receiving treatment in the province (currently a total of seventy nine thousand (79,000), increasing to one hundred and thirty thousand (130,000) over the next 3 years). Thereafter, the proportion of people whose treatment is funded from the Global Fund Grant is planned to decrease with funding responsibility being incrementally transferred to government.
- It will strengthen the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission Programme over the next six (6) years by putting in place steps to progressively increase the proportion of pregnant HIV-infected women who receive appropriate ARV interventions from the current level of eighty four percent (84%) to ninety five percent (95%). Through this intervention it is aimed to halve the transmission of HIV to infants of HIV-infected mothers from its current level of four point four percent (4.4%).
- It will, in a partnership between the Provincial Health and Education Departments, provide significant funding for the implementation of a HIV prevention programme in two hundred and thirty six (236) secondary schools across the province, utilising the medium of trained peer educators. It is likely that a similar programme implemented in ninety three (93) secondary schools over the past six (6) years of the current grant programme has contributed towards the fall in HIV prevalence amongst fifteen (15) - nineteen (19) year olds in the province from eight point seven percent (8.7%) in 2003 to five point four percent (5.4%) in 2008.
- It will provide funding for palliative and step-down care services (from seventy seven (77) beds) to be provided in six (6) of the rural towns in the province.
- It will provide ongoing funding for community-based projects aimed at addressing the causes and effects of both HIV and TB on local communities in the areas of:
- Nutritional support;
- Community-based care of orphans and vulnerable children;
- Emergency accommodation of women, children, the frail and the elderly;
- Job creation and income generation; and;
- Life-skills interventions targeting out-of-school youth.