Senior officials from Global Fund have commended Rwanda on how it has used the grant allocated towards the campaign to fight HIV prevalence in the country for the past three years.
The officials, led by Mark Dybul, the Executive Director of Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, were speaking yesterday during a meeting to review the impact of the $375 million project that they have funded in Rwanda over the past three years.
“I commend and congratulate Rwanda for the extra work done as far as reducing HIV infection from mother to child at birth, the fight against tuberculosis and malaria are concerned,” Dybul said.
According to Dr Daniel Ngamije, the coordinator of Single Project Implementation Unit in the Ministry of Health, they are also negotiating with Global Fund to finance another $25 million three-year project to fight tuberculosis.
“This year, Global Fund gave Rwanda $21 million (Rwf13.6 billion) to fight malaria while the government is in negotiations to get $25 million (Rwf16.2 billion) to fight tuberculosis, and $204 million for HIV,” Ngamije said.
Global Fund is among the key contributors to the fight against the three diseases in the country.
“It is an encouragement to have the executive director here, it not only shows the strong partnership we have, but also helps to assess the work done, identify challenges and chart the way forward,” Dr Anita Asiimwe, the State Minister for Primary and Public Healthcare, said.
Among other areas where the Global Fund money is spent is the distribution of Anti-Retroviral Therapy with 94 per cent of Rwandans infected with the virus accessing the treatment.
“Currently there are two people who contract HIV per hour down from five people five years ago,” said Sabin Nsanzimana, the head of the HIV fight division in the Ministry of Health. He added that this would not have been easy to achieve without the Global Fund support.
Meanwhile, Dr Corine Karema, the Director of the National Malaria Control Programme, said prevalence has significantly reduced over the past five years.
“In 2002, malaria was the number one killer in Rwanda but in 2012, it moved to eighth position which shows a great improvement. More so, in 2005, 18 per cent of the households in Rwanda had treated mosquito nets and by 2012, 83 per cent was covered,” Karema said.
She noted that some of the challenges facing the fight against malaria include lack of regional harmonisation of malaria control interventions.
The Executive Director of Global Fund said they will be grateful to fund regional efforts to eradicate malaria since most of malaria registered cases come from the border areas.
According to Dr Michel Gasana, the Director of Tuberculosis Programme in the Ministry of Health, Tuberculosis mortality rate in Rwanda fell by 78 per cent, with the number of patients being followed at home for treatment increasing to 53 per cent in 2012 from 4 per cent in 2005.