Myanmar’s HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB Fund To Begin Operations on Oct. 12
Myanmar's Three Diseases Fund, which aims to combat malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in the country, is scheduled to begin operations on Thursday, AFP/Khaleej Times reports (AFP/Khaleej Times, 10/10).The 3D Fund -- a $100 million, five-year joint donor program -- aims to compensate for grants suspended by the Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Global Fund in August 2005 announced a suspension of its grants to Myanmar, citing travel and other restrictions implemented by the country's government that impede the delivery of medical supplies and services. The Global Fund in 2004 pledged to spend $98 million over five years to fight the three diseases in the country. The 3D Fund aims to help provide insecticide-treated nets to prevent malaria; increase access to TB diagnosis and treatment; promote condom use; and expand HIV testing, treatment and care (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/24). According to operators of the 3D Fund, the project will be successful because of its flexible structure of channeling funds to local authorities and nongovernmental organizations instead of to the government. Frank Smithuis, country manager for Medecins Sans Frontieres-Myanmar, said the program's success depends on strict monitoring of funds, adding that random checks must be carried out to ensure people are receiving the correct drugs at the right price. The 3D Fund is set to begin its five-year plan at the end of this year after the government and the U.N. Office for Project Services, which is managing the fund, sign a memorandum of understanding (AFP/Khaleej Times, 10/10). Australia's government aid program AusAID, the U.K. Department for International Development, the European Commission, Sweden's Sida, the Netherlands and Norway helped establish the 3D Fund. About 97,000 new TB cases and 12,000 TB deaths are recorded in Myanmar annually, and malaria is one of the leading causes of death among children under age five in the country. According to UNAIDS, up to 610,000 people, or 2.2% of the population, are living with HIV in Myanmar (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.