Panafrican News Agency

Kaberuka calls for strong mobilization of domestic funding, resources to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa

Kigali, Rwanda (PANA) - Domestic resource mobilization in fighting against HIV/AIDS is not just a technical issue but it is about how we can sustain our progress, the Chairman of the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Dr Donald Kaberuka, said Monday in Kigali.

Speaking at the high level event of African First Ladies which was organised on the sideline of the week-long International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), Dr Kaberuka stressed that [African Governments] have first to hear the #youth about marginalization, inequality and employment.

"The majority of Africans are very young. The average age is 19. They don't know the AIDS crisis of earlier years. Going forward we need to focus more on HIV prevention," he said.

Reacting to current efforts made by African countries in addressing the existing gaps in the fight against HIV, the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Winnie Byanyima stressed the need to put as much money in prevention as 'we do in treatment'.

"And to do this, we need to invest in communities, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and women's movements," she said.

Both Byanyima and Kaberuka are convinced that when spending on health, Governments and stakeholders must spend on the right things. 

"We must finance the support, prevention and delivery of services to those who are most marginalized, criminalized, stigmatized – key populations,” Dr Kaberuka said.

Organisers said ICASA 2019 seeks to serve as an opportunity for all stakeholders, particularly governments, to compare notes, learn from best practices and renew their commitment to scaling up and accelerating HIV/AIDS response.

Estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO) show that out of the 34 million HIV-positive people worldwide, 69% live in sub-Saharan Africa. 

There are roughly 23.8 million infected persons in all of Africa and 91% of the world's HIV-positive children live in Africa where more than one million adults and children die every year from HIV/AIDS in Africa alone, according to the same source.

-0- PANA TWA/MA 2Dec2019