Guyana could still be supported by the Global Fund in its HIV/AIDS fight
Guyana still stands a chance of being supported by the Global Fund in its fight against HIV/AIDS as calls continue for greater government ownership of the virus by their Health Ministries.
Last week Caribbean leaders and Health Ministers along with a team from the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) met with the Executive Director of the Global Fund on future funding for the Region. Coming out of that meeting, the Global Fund confirmed that Caribbean countries which are classified as Upper Middle Income countries will be transitioned from its funding.
However, such transition will be guided by the Global Fund Board’s recommendation on the grounds that the transition must be responsible in order to achieve sustainability.
As a result, possible financing for countries like Guyana by the Global Fund to fight AIDS along with tuberculosis and malaria is one that can become a problem within the near future.
Haiti is being classified as Lower Income country while Guyana as Lower middle income, therefore the two countries will not face transition in the near future but should begin planning for such transition.
According to PANCAP’s Director, Dereck Springer there needs to be greater emphasis on national HIV investment through collaboration of Government and Private sector.
He strongly believes that Governments must also commit to supporting civil society organizations response following transition.
During a recent breakfast meeting ahead of the UN High Level meeting on ending AIDS the Chief of Staff for the Global Fund acknowledged that the Caribbean has made reasonable progress economically.
The Chief of Staff says the way forward is for more mobilizing of domestic resources and programmes.
She is of the view that more importantly looking at legislative framework that impedes access to services and continues to contribute to stigma and discrimination should not be overlooked.
The international donor’s decision to transition countries largely based on their gross national income and disease burdens could possibly jeopardize the response to the three diseases, warned international experts.
By Mark Murray