The Global Fund which was founded in January of the year 2002 is an international financing organization that is aimed at disbursing resources in order to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The Global Fund has approved a sum of 22.9 billion USD that supports about 1,000 programs in 151 different countries.
The United Nations Development Programme in Belize (UNDP) has received a grant of $3.4 million USD with the purpose of working towards the preventing and alleviating HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis (TB) for the years 2016 to 2018. This is the very first grant in which measures will be taken to mitigate all forms of TB and TB-HIV co-infections in major populations.
Under this grant, the Ministry of Economic Development will receive two project vehicles that will be utilized for monitoring TB activities as well as for community outreach; they will also be receiving twenty five bicycles, laptops, Gene Xpert machinery, lab equipment along with other health products and consumables. The equipment will be handed over to the ministry by the UNDP and will provide life-saving and life-changing assistance to individuals who are affected by both HIV/AIDS and TB here in Belize.
According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, the figures for 2015 show that young women between the ages of 20 to 24 and men between the ages of 40 to 44 years account for increases in HIV/AIDS infection within the last couple of years while the rate of TB is projected at 51 per 100,000 since 2012 and a rate of 120 recorded cases per year since 2014. In order to prevent these diseases from escalating, a number of barriers must be addressed such as stigma and discrimination and risky sexual practices to name a few, however, with this grant it is expected that these goals can be accomplished.
Residual funds will be used to fortify national health systems through infrastructural development and multi-level capacity building for healthcare workers. The grant is also aimed at promoting human rights for all, mainly among key populations that are most susceptible to HIV/AIDS and TB such as Belize City, Cayo and Stann Creek.
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