By Our Reporter
The Global Fund Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has agreed to give Mali 170 million dollars to promote prevention and fight against HIV/AIDS.
Executive Director, Joint UN Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Michel Sidibe, said on Wednesday after meeting with Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in Bamako.
He said at a press conference that the fund has renewed its partnership with Mali by giving the country over 100 billion CFA Francs.
“This is a clear demonstration of the good working relationship.
Sidibe said due to insecurity in the North, Mali lost drugs worth 300 million CFA Francs for people who need the drugs to survive.
“Besides the violence, health centres were ransacked and health officers were forced to flee.
“This is why the Global Fund had decided to intervene to ensure health becomes a reality for the Malian population,’’ he said.
The UNAIDS executive director said he was confident of president Keita’s personal commitment and determination to ensure health becomes a reality for the Malian population.
He said in November 2012, the Global Fund announced that it would resume funding Mali after reducing the country’s allocation in 2011 due to corruption.
Sidibe said since then, the Malian government and the Global Fund have taken measures aimed at restoring trust in the management of the funds and guarantee continuity of anti-HIV services for the people in need.
The National Supreme Council for the Fight Against AIDS, said latest official statistics showed that there are 50,000 people living with HIV in Mali and 30,000 of them benefit from anti-retroviral treatment.
It said the prevalence rate of the disease decreased from 1.7 per cent in 2006 to 1.1 per cent in 2013.
It, however, said in spite the drop, Mali records 3,000 new infections each year.