By Dr Fareed Abdullah and Khopotso Bodibe Dr Fareed Abdullah is CEO of SANAC
If the Global Fund approves SANAC’s application, South Africa will receive up to US$360 million, or R3 billion, for AIDS and TB programmes over a two-and-a-half year period, starting in October 2013. The funds will be used to supplement core programmes of the NSP such as antiretroviral treatment, where the proposal is to fund the drugs bill for about 300 000 patients, and the creation of a central procurement unit and ARV direct distribution centre.
An exciting development is that the proposal (we emphasise that it has not yet been approved) will provide funding for programmes linked to sex work, gender-based violence, and prevention of HIV infection in young women and men who have sex with men (MSM). This could be the opportunity to finally scale up programmes for neglected key populations in South Africa. If the proposal is approved it will reach 33 000 sex workers nationally and 150 000 MSMs with a range of services.
A large part of the funding will address HIV and TB in more than 200 prisons across the country. The TB component of the proposal provides funding to address TB in many of South Africa’s mining districts, and scales up the national Department of Health’s MDR-TB (multidrug resistant TB) programme.
The SANAC Secretariat will not receive any of the funds arising out of this proposal. All funds will go to government departments or NGOs. At this stage it appears that a minimum of five government departments, and more than 100 NGOs (through five principal NGO recipients) will receive funding.
The proposal was prepared by the SANAC Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) in consultation with all the stakeholders and development partners.
SANAC is particularly grateful for the support of PEPFAR, which contributes one-third of all funding that goes to the Global Fund.
If approved full details of the proposals will be made public.