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Uganda Closing HIV Funding Gaps By Using Multiple Funding Streams, Reducing Dependence On Foreign Aid

The Conversation: Beyond donor dollars for health care: how Uganda is thinking outside the box
Henry Zakumumpa, PhD candidate at Makerere University

“…African countries have become dependent on foreign aid to meet the escalating demand for HIV treatment. In Uganda for example, foreign aid accounts for 85 percent of the national HIV response. This is a dangerous place to be. Changes in the governments of donor countries can affect foreign aid commitments. And countries receiving aid are susceptible to donors using aid as a political tool. … What’s become increasingly clear is that there’s [a] funding gap for the scale-up of antiretroviral treatment as well as service delivery. … In our research we looked at how Uganda is attempting to plug this gap with a range of innovative approaches involving different donors and for different aspects of HIV treatment. We found that the initiatives have resulted in multiple funding streams, which in turn has increased access to the support services that people on ARVs need. … Governments in Africa should all be moving closer to fulfilling the Abuja Declaration which commits them to spending 15 percent of their annual budgets on the health sector. … This would reduce the current very high levels of dependency on foreign aid…” (2/22).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.