To develop a resilient and sustainable health system in Pakistan, the Global Fund has invested about $281 million between 2023 and 2025 to combat HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria. The funding, however, will be used from January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2026.
"As much as $181 million has been allotted for tuberculosis control, $65 million for HIV prevention and treatment, and $34 million for malaria control," a National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination (NHS, R&C) official told The News on Tuesday.
According to the official, the primary recipients for tuberculosis and malaria are national TB and malaria control programs, respectively, while the primary recipients for HIV are the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and a private organization called Nai Zindagi.
According to the official, the Global Fund's HIV grant is distributed to five sub-recipients, including the National Aids Control Program (NACP) and the Provincial Aids Control Programs of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Sindh. He also stated that the CMU is negotiating with the Global Fund to make the National Aids Control Program the primary recipient. According to specialists, despite investing millions of dollars, new HIV infections climbed by 84 percent between 2010 and 2022. In 2021, around 25,000 new HIV infections were reported, with a projected 27 000 in 2022.
Pakistan is one of the few countries in the Asia Pacific Region where new HIV infections are common. According to a study journal publication, UNAIDS has designated the country's HIV situation as a key source of concern. From January through December 15, 2022, over 10,000 persons were diagnosed with HIV, according to national data, including 496 from Islamabad Capital Territory.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) experts, new HIV infections are increasing in all four provinces of Pakistan, with Punjab and Sindh being the hotspots. In Pakistan, 50 percent and 43 percent of the 210, 000 HIV cases are from Punjab and Sindh, respectively.
They stated that the disease is still predominantly concentrated in critical demographics such as drug users, transgender persons, sex workers, and males who have sex with men (MSM).
Cases of tuberculosis and malaria are also on the rise in Pakistan. According to WHO authorities in Islamabad, Pakistan presently ranks fourth in terms of the biggest number of TB cases, while malaria infections have more than doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year. This year, the country reported 5 million malaria cases. They urged for a full overhaul and upgrading of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria control programs to prevent new HIV and tuberculosis cases.
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