Main Category: HIV / AIDS
Also Included In: Tuberculosis; Tropical Diseases
Article Date: 03 Mar 2009 – 3:00 PST
A four-member mission of the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria last week visited Myanmar to meet with local officials and discuss the possibility of restoring funds to programs that address the three diseases in the country, Xinhuanet reports. The delegation — led by William Paton, director of the Global Fund’s country programs — spent four days in Myanmar at the invitation of the country’s government and held discussions with the Myanmar Country Coordinating Mechanism, led by the country’s health minister. The 29-member MCCM includes 10 members from government ministries, four from United Nations agencies and four from international nongovernmental organizations. The mission is expected to announce its decision about the funding by 2010, Xinhuanet reports (Xinhuanet, 2/27).
The Global Fund in August 2005 announced a suspension of its grants to Myanmar, citing travel and other restrictions implemented by the country’s government that impede the delivery of medical supplies and services (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/12/06). To compensate for the loss of funding, Myanmar established the Three Disease Fund, which received support from Australia’s AusAID, the European Commission, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden’s Sida and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. The 3D Fund in April 2006 launched a $100 million project to address HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria in the country, under the guidance of MCCM. In 2007, the World Health Organization signed a memorandum of understanding to extend the 3D Fund and administer the program. According to reports, the 3D Fund provided Myanmar with $4 million across 2007 and 2008, as well as $5.7 million across 2008 and 2009. Reports also indicate that the fund provided nine NGOs in Myanmar with a total of $630,000 to control HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria.
Sun Gang, UNAIDS country coordinator for Myanmar, said the country is undertaking significant efforts to control the three diseases. According to a recent UNAIDS report, Myanmar reported 240,000 HIV cases in 2007, down from 300,000 in 2001. According to Xinhuanet, the country has undertaken efforts to encourage 100% condom use, offer educational talks about HIV/AIDS and provide treatment for sexually transmitted infections. In addition, Myanmar aims to curb HIV transmission resulting from injection drug use, mother-to-child transmission and blood transfusions. Furthermore, several ministries, NGOs, U.N. agencies and community groups in Myanmar have adopted a five-year national strategic plan to implement 13 strategies to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, Xinhuanet reports. continue