The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Uganda team, recently paid a courtesy call to the Ministry of Finance to strategically discuss and generate a common understanding of the newly released PEPFAR 5-Year Strategy. The meeting also sought to ensure a shared understanding of the new 5×3 approach, and share the programmatic, budget and policy direction in preparation for the PEPFAR Country Operational Planning (COP) 2023 processes. The meeting was attended by Natalie E. Brown, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda – Head of the U.S.G Delegation, Mary Borgman, PEPFAR Country Coordinator, Richard Nelson, USAID Mission Director, Hon. Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Minister of Health and Ramathan Ggoobi, Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury together with other officials.
The US ambassador informed the meeting that PEPFAR had introduced a new strategy that focuses on the 5×3 approach in order to expedite the achievement of the 95, 95, and 95 targets on the HIV/AIDS program so as to end the disease as a public health threat by 2030 while sustainably strengthening public health systems.
Speaking about concerns regarding the high non-competitive market prices for locally produced drugs, the Health Minister informed the meeting of the opening up of African markets to Cipla Quality Chemicals Industries, there has been a reduction in the prices and the trend is likely to continue as more markets are explored by the manufacturer.
The Finance minister and the PS/ST confirmed at the meeting that the Government of Uganda is committed to increasing the allocation to HIV/AIDS by UGX 50 billion in FY2023/24, in line with the earlier commitment made in regard to the same in 2019.