Govt wants to keep up AIDS fight
KATHMANDU, AUG 22 - In a bid to stay afloat in its fight against HIV/AIDS after 2011, the government has applied for the 10th round of Global Fund (GF).
Country Coordinator Committee (CCM) on Friday submitted its final proposal to GF, seeking the fund amounting Rs. 4.26 billion (US $ 57 million) after holding broad consultations with stakeholders and civil society, said Dr. Krishna Kumar Rai, Director of National Center for AIDS and STD Control (NCASC) under the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP).
Earlier too, the government had also submitted such a proposal in the eight and ninth rounds of GF in 2008 and 2009. However, the proposals were rejected on the ground of not meeting the minimum criteria.
Technical Review Panel of GF will review the final proposal and forward views to its board. Holding a meeting in December, the board will decide whether or not to provide fund.
Rai said the Department for International Development (DFID) and the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP), the major donors for HIV/AIDS programme, will complete their projects launched to control the deadly disease by the end of 2011. This will further compund Nepal' woes to fight against HIV/AIDS.
"If Nepal fails to receive the fund this year, it will be difficult for the government to continue the ongoing programmes related to HIV/AIDS," said Rai.
For the first time, Nepal has conducted a gap analysis in terms of the available resources, coverage and programme data and the government held a series of consultations with stakeholders at the regional and central levels to identify the real problems enveloping the health sector.
According to the proposal forwarded to GF, the government is planning to run the programme in an integrated way by including all higher risk groups-intravenous drug users, commercial sex workers and their clients, male homosexuals, migrant labourers and their spouses living in Nepal.
The government is also planning to strengthen its health system from bottom to top to control HIV/AIDS.
According to a MoHP estimate, there are some 70,000 HIV positives in the country. Of them, 41 percent HIV victims are migrant population, especially from India, and 21.5 percent are their spouse living in rural areas.
Posted on: 2010-08-22 09:51