The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, the Government of Congo, and health partners have announced two new grants worth more than US$ 64 million to strengthen prevention and treatment services to respond to HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria and to build resilient and sustainable systems for health in Congo.
The two grants are a 97% increase from the previous allocation against the three diseases and will be spent from 2021 to 2023.
“UNAIDS looks forward to continuing to work closely with all partners to accelerate the elimination of vertical transmission of HIV and paediatric AIDS in Congo and to improve access to HIV/tuberculosis programmes, sexual and reproductive health, and legal services for young women and adolescent girls and all groups at higher risk of contracting HIV,” said Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of UNAIDS.
The HIV grant will significantly increase the number of people living with HIV who know their HIV status and will expand access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy, particularly for pregnant women. In 2019 in Congo, only 51% of people living with HIV knew their HIV status and only 25% of people living with HIV were accessing antiretroviral therapy. Only 10% of pregnant women living with HIV in Congo were offered antiretroviral medicine to prevent the virus being passed to their babies.
The tuberculosis component of the grant aims to boost the national tuberculosis response, increase the notification of new tuberculosis cases and reach a 90% treatment success rate by 2023, in line with the World Health Organization’s End TB Strategy. The grant will also support the country’s efforts to improve treatment success for people with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. The malaria grant will support the country’s goal to distribute 3.5 million mosquito nets by 2023 and expand access to quality malaria diagnostics and treatment tools.
“In the context of the country’s financial crisis, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the grants allocated to Congo are a breath of fresh air. They provide renewed impetus to the government’s action in favour of populations affected by HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria,” said the Prime Minister of Congo, Clément Mouamba.
The United Nations Development Programme will implement the HIV and tuberculosis grant, while Catholic Relief Services will implement the malaria grant.