Tapiwa Mutizamhepo Herald Reporter
Parliament has been petitioned to urgently engage Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Econmic Development, to release US$6 million to unlock US$400 million from the Global Fund to procure anti-retroviral drugs for over 700 000 people.
The appeal was made yesterday by Zimbabwe Aids Network (ZAN) during a joint sitting of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Health and Child Care and Thematic Committee on HIV and Aids.
ZAN is an umbrella board of various advocacy civil society organisations involved in HIV and Aids, tuberculosis, sexual reproductive health and general health.
One of the petitioners, Mr Tapiwanashe Kunjinga, said the delay in releasing the funds posed risks of drugs shortage, resulting in some people on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) defaulting in treatment or taking incomplete regimens.
“We are petitioning Parliament to exercise its oversight role in ensuring that the constitutionally provided right to health is recognised, with particular emphasis being on the right to health for persons living with HIV,” he said.
“We are appealing that urgent steps be taken to ensure that the funding gaps are addressed, there is need to ensure that the funding is availed and the impact of the unlocking of this funding means that we will be entitled to higher Global Fund grant than we will be entitled if the money is not paid.”