Uganda Welcomes Lift of PEPFAR Funding Caps

A boy takes a peep through a window as a man gets tested for HIV. The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has lifted its funding caps, allowing more HIV patients to be treated in Uganda. Photo by: Victoria Holdsworth / Commonwealth Secretariat / CC BY NC Commonwealth SecretariatCC BY NC

Ugandan health centers can enroll more HIV patients for treatment as the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief removed its funding ceiling.

“We have about 1,000 patients on the waiting list and we shall give them first priority. As soon as [PEPFAR] sends us the guidelines, we shall start clearing patients,” said Emmanuel Luyirika, director of the Mildmay Center, an HIV care facility in Kampala.

Funding caps by PEPFAR prompted a drop in new enrollments of HIV patients for treatment in Uganda over the past year. PEPFAR supports 87 percent of the 200,000 Ugandans on antiretroviral treatment, IRIN reports. 

U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby earlier said PEPFAR will scale up treatment and HIV prevention and care as well as provide short- and medium-term financial assistance to patients in Uganda in the coming months.

He said the withdrawal of UNITAID, an international facility set up for the purchase of drugs against HIV/AIDS,  malaria and tuberculosis, in Uganda had been delayed to 2011.

The top U.S. AIDS envoy also recently underscored the need to hold aid-recipient governments accountable in allocating domestic resources for AIDS treatment.

“A central piece of the Global Health Initiative and of PEPFAR as being part of it has been to refocus our attention on the role that the partner country plays in contributing human resources, bricks and mortar in the setting of the clinic or the prevention opportunity or the outreach opportunity … So we hold each other accountable, understand how each is contributing or not contributing,” Goosby said Aug. 10 in the State Department’s Conversations With America.

About the author

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    Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.