Wrangle Delays $91 Million Package to Fight HIV/AIDS in Cote d'Ivoire
August 1, 2003
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has delayed disbursement of a $91 million grant to Cote d'Ivoire, according to official sources. The Geneva-based fund failed to reach agreement with the Ivorian government over who should control disbursement of the funds and monitor their spending. There is also a dispute in Abidjan among the Ministry of Health, the Ministry for Combating HIV/AIDS, and the Ministry of Social Welfare over how the money will be shared.
Mamadou Diallo, the Cote d'Ivoire representative of UNAIDS, said he hoped all issues holding up signing the agreement could be resolved by the end of July. He said most of the grant money would go toward training health workers, providing information to HIV patients about how to prevent the spread of the infection, and purchasing drugs to treat people with AIDS. Some of the funds would also be used to fight TB and malaria.
Statistics from Cote d'Ivoire's Ministry for Combating HIV/AIDS show 12 percent of the country's 16 million people with HIV. The infection rate varies from a low of 8.2 percent in the heavily forested southeast to a high of 14.6 percent in the east near the border with Ghana. The Collective of Non-Governmental Organizations fighting AIDS in Cote d'Ivoire (COOCI) estimates there are about 75,000 AIDS patients in the country, and roughly 5,000 orphans whose parents died of the disease.
COOCI estimates there are 10,000 AIDS patients in Cote d'Ivoire who would benefit from antiretroviral treatment; only 2,500 receive treatment at present. ART, not government subsidized, costs between $60-$180 a month. Cote d'Ivoire's minimum wage is $80 a month.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.