The joint United Nations Programme on HIV and Aids (UNAids) has cautioned government departments against abusing funds allocated for the fight against HIV and Aids.
UNAids deputy director for Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa Pierre Somse has since stressed that anything short of this would result in donor partners pulling out support towards the fight against Aids.
Somse said this in an exclusive interview in Lilongwe on Wednesday on the sidelines of the opening of a two-day national workshop on community-oriented service delivery models for HIV care.
The workshop was organised to discuss evidence to support community-based strategies across the HIV cascade of care to reach the global 90:90:90 targets
The target seeks countries’ commitment to end HIV and Aids by 2030; have 90 percent of people living with HIV and Aids (PLWHA) know their status by 2020; 90 percent of people diagnosed with HIV to be on antiretroviral treatment (ART) by 2020 and 90 percent of patients on ART to be retained in care and have their viral load suppressed by 2020.
Malawi is one of the countries that have adopted the targets, but Somse stressed the country needs to maintain the “same level of commitment towards HIV and Aids fight” to achieve the targets.
“What is needed is the success this fight will bring so that more donors can be attracted to provide more funding. Success is an important determining factor in attracting donors in almost every sector, especially at this time when donor support keeps dwindling. Hence, government must ensure it does not falter in its efforts to eliminate the virus,” he said.
Minister of Health Peter Kumpalume assured the donor community that government remains committed to ensuring that there is prudence, transparency and accountability in the disbursement and use of HIV and Aids-related funds.
Kumpalume said although Malawi has made significant strides in the HIV and Aids response, the country continues to register an increase in the number of new infections annually.