UNDP-Global Fund (GF) New Funding Model HIV/AIDS and TB grant 2016-2018Jun 24, 2016
The Ministry of Economic Development, on behalf of the country of Belize, was granted US$3.4 million for HIV/AIDS and TB prevention and mitigation by the Global Fund for 2016-2018. This is the first GF grant to include TB interventions to lessen the incidences of all forms of TB and TB-HIV co-infections in key populations. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) was again selected to serve as Principal Recipient (PR) under this new funding model grant. Although a new project cycle, the grant is considered transitional, since stakeholders will build efficiently and sustainably upon previously identified good practices in-country and the Latin American and Caribbean regions.
Under this grant, UNDP is handing over to the Ministry of Health essential health equipment, including: two project vehicles for monitoring of TB activities and community outreach; 25 bicycles for community health workers servicing HIV and TB patients in local communities across the country; laptops; Gene Xpert machinery; lab equipment and other health products and consumables.
Remaining funds will be used to strengthen national health systems through infrastructural development and multi-level capacity building for healthcare workers. In addition to heath systems strengthening, the grant seeks to promote human rights for all, particularly among key populations most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and TB. Implementing partners include Ministry of Health, Belize Family Life Association (BFLA), Hand in Hand Ministries (HnH) and Productive Organization for Women in Action (POWA). Together, these organizations will work in Belize City, Cayo and Stann Creek, the three districts with heaviest burden of HIV/AIDS and TB in Belize.
With the launch of the MOH Surveillance Report 2015 and the development of the TB Strategic Plan in 2014, the status of HIV/AIDS and TB continue to raise concerns for family, community and societal development. Much success has been achieved since the first diagnosis of HIV in 1986. Still, as WHO and UNAIDS sounded the call for achievement of the 90:90:90 targets by 2020 and the UN High Level meeting for HIV/AIDS held last week in New York, there needs to be heightened efforts for innovative, collaborative and strategic planning for the halting and reversal of the two diseases.
MOH statistics for 2015 show general population prevalence rate at 1.4%, and MSM prevalence rate at 13.9%. Young women between the ages of 20-24 years and men 40-44 years account for peaks in infection over the last couple years. The TB prevalence rate is estimated at 51 per 100,000 (2012), and incidence is about 120 cases per year (2014). In order to change the trajectory of the diseases, barriers to access to healthcare systems, stigma and discrimination, low adherence rates and risky sexual practices all need to be addressed, and this grant aims to effectively achieve those goals.
UNDP Belize continues its mandate to promote human and national development for all and stands firmly by its commitment to “Empowered Lives. Resilient Nations.” The GF grant in Belize will provide life-saving and life-changing assistance to those affected and infected by HIV/AIDS and TB in Belize.