Zimbabwe has saved over $180 million from its initially allocated budget to fight HIV and Aids, tuberculosis and malaria between 2014 and 2017, Aids and TB Unit director Dr Owen Mugurungi has said. Dr Mugurungi said the country was allocated about $311 million by the Global Fund to fight the three diseases for a period of three years, from which these savings were realised.
He attributed the savings in HIV and Aids programming to a drop in drug prices, which have gone down from a high of about $10 to $7 for an individual’s course.
“When we applied for this grant, four years ago, drug prices were around $10 for a month-long course for one person,” he said. “But now, prices have gone down and we have been realising these savings over the years.”
For tuberculosis, Dr Mugurungi said much of the funding was for procurement of equipment and infrastructure development.
“There have been procurement delays due to a number of issues and we are hoping by the end of the year, we would have procured all that was in the proposal in line with TB care and treatment,” said Dr Mugurungi.
He said Government had since re-channelled $138 million towards other interventions.
“We are hoping that some of the funds would be ploughed back into drug procurement to increase our buffer stock from the current six months to at least a year,” said Dr Mugurungi.
He said Government was in the process of consulting relevant stakeholders on what should the country prioritise in its national response.