Uganda to Implement AIDS Project to Build Infrastructure for Drug Distribution
The Uganda AIDS Commission will coordinate a five-year, $50 million project to build hospital centers and to provide antiretroviral drugs for AIDS patients, Kyodo News reports. Uganda will contribute $2.5 million to the project and the World Bank will fund the remainder. All 56 national districts will be required to form HIV funding committees to receive their share of $10 million in HIV/AIDS funds, while $15 million will be disbursed at the community level and $20 million will be allocated to procure antiretroviral drugs, Project Coordinator Peter Nsubuga said (Kyodo News, 7/11). The program will not purchase the drugs, but rather build the national infrastructure and train its health workers "to make possible the eventual use of antiretroviral drugs," World Bank health specialist Dr. Peter Okwero said. The Ugandan government wants to supply drugs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, but Okwero explained that Uganda needs better infrastructure prior to plan implementation. With World Bank reports that 80% of drugs in Uganda are stolen before they are delivered to clinics and patients, National and District Program Coordinator Julius Byenkya said that the project will involve "strict accounting to prevent corruption." World Bank Health Economist Shiyan Chao acknowledged that the programs' funds and existing available funds for HIV/AIDS are "insufficient," but noted that if the program is successful, "more money will come later" (Bialik, Associated Press, 7/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.