The National Aids Commission (NAC) has been allocated K3.5 billion in the 2020/21 national budget to coordinate the National HIV/AIDS response.
Speaking after meeting the Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS, NAC acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Andrew Gonani said the funding is broken down into mostly prevention and management of HIV but also coordinating activities nationwide to make sure that all programs are working effectively, monitored and supervised.
Gonani also noted that the Commission will soon launch a new national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS as the other strategic plan expired in June.
“We have just completed developing a new strategic plan for HIV/AIDs 2020-2025, this is a national strategic plan and it includes all elements that everyone who works in the HIV sector should do to control HIV in the country.
“We would like that within five years by 2025 we reach 95-95-95 from 90-90-90 in that 95 percent of people who have HIV should know that they have HIV and 95 percent of them should start ARVs and 95 percent of those that start ARVs should be virally suppressed so that they are really healthy.
“These are the targets that would make the world conquer HIV and AIDS by 2030. The plan is that as globally we should end HIV as a public health threat so it has all elements that are supposed to be done to reach 95-95-95 target,” said Gonani.
Speaking after the meeting, Chairperson of the committee Honourable Deusi Gumba said they are really impressed with what NAC presented to them concerning this year’s fiscal budget.
Deusi said the Commission brought a convincing story to the committee and as a committee they can vote for their funding.
“We wanted to find out from NAC as to how they had use resources that they were provided last year and regarding to what has been provided this time,” he said.
There were also discussions around successes that NAC has managed to do and also some challenges as well as interventions which Members of Parliament could take up regarding specific allocations towards the National response to HIV and AIDS.
“You are aware that National Aids Commission is under an act of Parliament under the Malawi laws as of November 2017 and it is in this respect that members of Parliament will be very interested to know their programs of work, specifically how they are doing on the ground in relation to the fight against HIV and AIDS. So from the figures they have brought before us we are really convinced. There are still challenges here and there but for sure they are in right direction,” said Gumba.
Every year after presentation of budget by the Minister of Finance, members of Parliament go into cluster sessions whereby MPs invite key stakeholders and appreciate their programs of work, but specifically they focus on areas to do with the budget.