Zambia Requests $19M From Global Fund to Supply AIDS Drugs
In a television address marking his first 100 days in office, Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa yesterday said that his government has requested $19 million from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to "enable [it] to provide cheaper drugs to people with AIDS," Reuters reports. Mwanawasa said that a pilot project to provide medications to people with HIV/AIDS would begin soon at two hospitals in the capital city of Lusaka and the copperbelt city of Ndola and will later expand to the rest of the country. He noted that the government is still negotiating price concessions for the project with drug makers. The Zambian government in November failed to agree to a $50 million AIDS package with the World Bank. The package is dependent on the government implementing a "legal framework" to battle HIV/AIDS, but Parliament adjourned last year without passing any law on HIV/AIDS. Mwanawasa said that a draft bill will be presented in Parliament to "enable legislators to debate and agree on measures to tackle AIDS" (Reuters, 4/11).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.