Calls for equity funding in HIV programs

The Fourth Annual National Paediatric conference that ended November 21, after three days of intensive deliberations, also called for equity in financing services for HIV infected and affected children.

Direct participation by orphans and vulnerable children in drafting and implementation of policies as key strategy in scaling up equity in financing services for HIV/Aids infected and affected children, delegates agreed.

It was also recommended that a minimum package for HIV prevention among vulnerable youths be established by modeling of a standard national minimum package for HIV prevention, financing of the package through Identifying the unit cost for the minimum package and Data, monitoring and evaluation by identifying baselines for the drivers of the epidemic, and key indicators for follow-up.

“I can assure you that we will continue to support and work with you, our partners, all stakeholders including children to tackle the spread and impact of HIV”, said Health Minister Dr. Richard Sezibera.

The Health minister said that deliberations from the conference will inform the implementation of EDPRS and the development of the social policy.

“Your efforts through the national conferences help the country towards achievement of MDG 6 on combating HIV/Aids and reaching universal access targets for prevention, protection, treatment care and support”.  

Minister Sezibera added that the theme of this year “Equity in financing services for HIV infected and affected children” must remind us that even interventions has to be increased significantly in Rwanda.  

Dr. Anita Assimwe, executive secretary of CNLS explained, “The 1994 Tutsi Genocide left many children orphaned and some have lost one or both parents to the HIV pandemic,” She hailed the Rwandan society for accepting challenge of taking responsibility for such children.  

“The government has scored high in the campaign aganist HIV through established agencies especially CNLS and TRACPlus whose funding is provided for through national budget including donor support and civil society involvement through mutuelle de sante”.

During the conference Dr. Doreen Mulenga, a senior UNICEF advisor disclosed, “children constitute 13.7% of new global HIV Infections mostly through mother to child transmission,14%deaths annually,6% of persons living with HIV and also 15million lost one or both of their parents to HIV by the end 2007”.  Also 50% children with HIV die in the first two years of their life.

The conference attracted over 300 international and national researchers, development practitioners, experts and Rwanda children.