The Global Fund under the new funding model has awarded Zambia a grant of US$240 million, which is equivalent to K1.5 billion, to implement HIV/TB and malaria programmes for a period of three years beginning this year.
Out of the US$240, US$ 158 million will be used on HIV and tuberculosis programmes while US$82 million will be used on malaria programmes.
The funded programmes will be implemented by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health, and the Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ).
Minister of Finance Alexander Chikwanda signed the Global Fund framework agreement and the grant confirmations under the new funding model on behalf of the Zambia government while the Executive Director for Global Fund Mark Dybul signed the agreements on behalf of his organisation.
Mr. Chikwanda later signed the agreement with CHAZ who are part of the implementing agencies of the funds.
The signing, which was also attended by the Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde, Executive Director of CHAZ Karen Sichinga, Ambassadors and representatives of foreign missions and officials from the National AIDS Council, was held at the Ministry of Finance in Lusaka.
Mr. Chikwanda disclosed that since 2002, the Global Fund has given Zambia grants totalling to US$742.6 million.
He said the funds and technical assistance have supported Zambia’s fight against HIV/TB and malaria saying the support has significantly helped improve prevention and treatment of the three diseases.
And Global Fund Executive Director Mark Dybul reaffirmed his organization’s continued support to Zambia in the quest to combat diseases.
Dr. Dybul said the global fund exists because of the cordial corporation from partners most of whom are African countries.
He however urged the Zambian government to ensure that financing gaps in the health sector were filled by increasing domestic financing as foreign aid was not enough.
And Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde noted that the US$240 million signed today among government, CHAZ and the Global Fund was a significant contribution to the fight against HIV/TB and malaria in Zambia.
Dr. Kasonde said government will expand the availability of anti-retroviral medication for people living with both HIV and TB in addition to the grant.
He said the grant will contribute to the ensuring of 100 percent coverage of the first line antiretroviral medication over the next two years and 100 percent coverage of TB medication up to 2017.