Unlike the recent past, LGBT Ugandans will be eligible for health care services funded by newly received grants totaling more than $225 million, says Kikonyogo Kivumbi, who serves on a key Uganda’s health policy panel. On that board, known as the Uganda Country Coordinating Mechanism, Kivumbi is the elected representative for LGBT people, sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM) and intravenous drug users.
By Kikonyogo Kivumbi
This morning [June 25], I have been privileged to be in the company of Uganda’s prime minister, the Hon. Ruhakana Rugunda; ministers for health and finance; other national leaders; and diplomats in a public signing of five Global Fund grants for Uganda, worth in total US $226,241,454.
The money is for managing HIV/Aids and tuberculosis, health systems strengthening, prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, and more — all aligned with Uganda’s current National Strategic Plan for fighting HIV/Aids and the Investment Case. The Investment Case is a government policy that details an ambitious plan and reasoning why more money must be invested in combating Uganda’s national HIV/Aids pandemic. MSM are mentioned there by name.
I am happy that the removal of policy and legal barriers against LGBT people, and zero tolerance to discrimination in access to the right to health, are at the center of this intervention.
[In regard to Uganda’s LGBT community,] the public signing of these grants also means that now you know the money is available. Demand to be served. It is a show of transparency and accountability.
On a good note, new HIV infections are declining from over 140,000 to about 90,0000 in new figures due for release shortly.
More must be done, though, to scale up health care access for criminalised and disadvantaged populations.
- Finally, an LGBT voice on Uganda’s anti-HIV panel (76crimes.com)
- Uganda gets $200m Global Fund grant to revamp health infrastructure (en.starafrica.com)
- Mozambique And Global Fund Aiming Higher With New Grants (eurasiareview.com)