Malawi's National AIDS Commission in a statement issued Thursday announced that it has received $48.5 million from the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the World Bank to expand HIV/AIDS services in the country up to December, Xinhua News Agency reports. According to NAC, the Global Fund allocated $44.3 million, while the World Bank provided the remaining $4.2 million.
NAC said that $12.5 million has been transferred to UNICEF for the procurement of health products, including antiretroviral drugs and that $31.8 million will be used to strengthen health systems. According to Xinhua News Agency, the country, with support from the Global Fund, has provided no-cost antiretrovirals to more than 100,000 HIV-positive people since 2005 (Xinhua News Agency, 11/1). Biziwick Mwale, chief of NAC, in July said the country aims to expand the number of people with no-cost drug access to 150,000 by the end of December. He added that the biggest challenge to increasing access to antiretrovirals is the shortage of health care workers in the country. A recent survey by the Ministry of Health indicates that the country, which has a population of 12 million, employs 150 doctors. According to UNAIDS estimates, there are about 930,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Malawi, and approximately 78,000 AIDS-related deaths occur each year. The country's HIV prevalence is about 14% (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/10).
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