Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Mozambican civil society express grave concern over potential ART shortages


Aids Alliance

Following the news that the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria had decided to cancel its next funding round, Mozambicans are faced with the very real prospect of running out of AIDS treatment by the end of 2012.

At a press conference in Maputo yesterday (before World AIDS Day), a group of civil society organisations[1] - including Alliance Linking Organisation MONASO- shared their concerns publicly and called on the Mozambican government and international donor and civil society agencies to take action to avert this crisis.

The emerging crisis

According to an analysis by the Ministry of Health and other partners, only 60% of the necessary drugs needed to cover the demand in 2012 are available.  They are predicting that there will be a lack of drugs by the second half of next year, if no further funding is available from The Global Fund for Mozambique in 2012.

The consequences will be severe.  People will die due to lack of treatment. Others will have to discontinue their treatment, risking their life or developing resistance to the current therapy. 

HIV in Mozambique

Despite the country's efforts to fight HIV and AIDS, Mozambique has a long way to go. About 1.7M people are living with HIV, of which 600,000 need treatment – though only 240,000 currently have access.

According to a report by Medicins Sans Frontiers, Reversing HIV/AIDS?, Mozambique is heavily reliant on donor funding: only 7% of the country's budget is spent on health.  According to a National AIDS Council report released in 2011 96% of the country's HIV budget is donor-funded, with the Global FUnd and PEPFAR providing the largest portion of funds.

A call to action

Gaspar Sitefane, Executive Director of MONASO said: ‘On World AIDS Day we should be celebrating a promising future for the people living with HIV and AIDS through the worldwide commitment to put 15 million people on treatment by 2015.’

‘However, because Mozambique's HIV responses is so highly dependent on international donors, we are concerned that HIV funding from many donors, including the Global Fund, will impact negatively on Mozambique in the coming years.’ 

The civil society groups made this call to action:

“We express our respect for the government of Mozambique, and its development partners.  However, we urge the national government to consider increasing the household budget for the HIV national response and development partners to channel the necessary funds in order to solve this situation.  Not only are we in serious danger of losing lives, it is also a great violation of the human rights of Mozambican people.”

“A few years ago, international experts convinced us that if we were ready to take ART drugs properly, we could have a normal life. Now, the same experts are telling us that probably in 2012 there will be no resources to buy drugs.”

“It is our right to access drugs that keep us alive, therefore, we call on national and international actors to take their responsibility and ensure the necessary treatment for the rest of our lives.”