The AIDS Trust Fund provided for by the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act signed into law in 2014 should draw its funding from the Consolidated Fund.
However, it was noted by Dr Eddie Mukooyo, the Chairperson of the Uganda AIDS Commission that to this day, it has not yet been implemented.
The revelation irked the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, who expressed her disappointment in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
Kadaga faulted the ministry for failing to release funds to enact the AIDS Trust Fund (ATF) since the law took effect.
“We passed into law a legislation supporting the Trust Fund because we believe the matter was urgent and would support the Presidential Initiative against HIV/AIDS, it is a pity that we are still talking about this issue now,” she said.
Kadaga was officiating at the session of the 11th Partnership Forum on Thursday 27 August, 2020 at the Office of the President. It comprised of representatives from political and technical arms of various entities in the country coming together to combat HIV/AIDS.
The theme for the Forum is, “Ending AIDS: leaving no one behind”
Dr Mukooyo added that the Commission was plagued with financial constraints that impeded its work and in turn, reduced its ability to curb the rate of HIV/AIDS prevalence in the country.
“We need money to host the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) for 2021 and to support the AIDS response in Uganda because majority of the financial heavy lifting is done by the partners,” he said.
Speaker Kadaga promised to lobby the government and to have the funding gaps of the Commission handled by the HIV/AIDS and Budget committees of Parliament.
She commended the AIDS Commission for achieving the 90-90-90 targets and evolving to the 95-95-95 target. The numbers stand for 95 per cent people aware of their HIV status of which 95 per cent are under HIV treatment of which 95 per cent are virally suppressed.
Kadaga also applauded the Commission for realising a drop in infections from 93,000 in 2010 to 54,000 people in 2019. However, she told the AIDS Commission that she had observed that people have to travel long distances to access HIV/AIDS treatment and that district and municipality AIDS committees needed to be energised as they were not active.