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Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Exploring HIV financing models in Africa takes centre stage at ICASA

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

EXPLORING HIV financing models in Africa took centre stage during discussions at the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) underway in Harare this Wednesday.

Financing the health sector in general and HIV in particular dominated proceedings at the ongoing ICASA 2023.

Zimbabwe’s Finance, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube outlined government strides in financing the health sector.

“I realise that HIV has comorbidities which turn out to be non-communicable diseases its cancer cardiovascular issues so we thought it necessary to come up with ways to find other ways to fund these response to these comorbidities, so last year we introduced some sin taxes on cigarettes and on alcohol this year we have introduced again an additional tax on sugar drinks and currently the figure is US$0.2 per gramme of sugar in a cane of coca cola there is an outcry but the principle is clear we want to create a cancer fund thats where we are going with this,” he said.

Health and Child Care Minister, Dr Douglas Mombeshora said his ministry will continue working with various stakeholders to build a resilient health sector and end AIDS by 2030.

“The government of Zimbabwe has consistently demonstrated leadership in the national HIV response on sustaining the HIV response through the development of a national HIV/AIDS sustainability roadmap,” he said.

ICASA 2023 which began on Monday and ends on Saturday, provides an opportunity to highlight the challenges and successes of the HIV, hepatitis and STI responses across Africa, while addressing HIV/STI research and implementation science in the context of wider pandemic preparedness and response.

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