Highlighting the urgent need to find more sustainable means to HIV& AIDS treatment at the 12th biennial conference in Francistown recently, Dr Somolekae said that estimates have indicated that HIV and AIDS reduce the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) growth even with the widespread roll out of ARVS.
HIV is still outpacing government’s efforts to fight the disease as the incidence rate remains high with 15, 000 new infections every year”, said Somolakae.
“With these staggering infections and a huge ARV procurement bill, government is forced to look for more sustainable means of treatment. Our annual budget surpasses P1 billion only to cover the essential HIV programmes,if we are to fully finance every little aspect of the response we would need a budget of P2.4 billion.
We need to invest our meager resources towards turning off the tap which is the source of new infections and at the same time increasing and sustaining treatment coverage”, said Somolekae
The concerned minister further called upon the captains of the private sector to dig deep into their coffers to partner with government in financing the national resource base to close the budgetary the gap.
“Our latest reports indicate that private sector spending on ARV treatment alone constitutes 8% followed by 9% outsourced by Government, while Government is left to shoulder the remaining 83%” Somolakae noted.
In order to increase the current figures of people who know their HIV status from 56 per cent to 90 percent by 2016, more resources had to be poured into HIV counseling and testing.
The need for a sustainable finance resource base is also accelerated by the treatment threshold which has been increased from 250 CD count to 350 CD count.
“ We need to collectively invest beyond HIV and AIDS workplace programmes and to contribute to the national financial resources base in order to achieve Zero infections by 2016”, pointed out Assistant Minister.
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