“Latin America has a 55% coverage of access to antiretroviral treatment”, stated Doctor Nunez.
However, he clarified that these data are distorted by better coverage in some countries versus others that have less coverage. It is important to point out that these data are based on the number of people who require treatment in the health system.
Showing a series of graphics on access to diverse services, he clarified: “Access to the majority of services is improving and access for the most vulnerable populations as well. The important pending subject is prevention and in the immediate short-term, we must dramatically increase our efforts to reduce the exposure to HIV”.
In the sense of recent discussions in the regional meeting, Nunez reminded everyone of the importance of alignment and harmonisation and introduced the concept of 3-1 (three ones) to provide further details.
The three ones promote the concept that countries have:
· An agreed-upon AIDS action framework that proposes a baseline to coordinate the work of all those involved
· A national AIDS coordination authority with a broad multisectoral mandate
· A monitoring and evaluation system.
The policy of the three ones recognises the fundamental role of the national health authority, which has a defined role and clear leadership to coordinate, however it promotes the formation of multisectoral consultation locations to design national plans and strategies.
Hence, Cesar Nunez considered the approach of the formation of CONASIDAs (National Committee Against AIDS) as an interesting model that should fulfil the role of supervising the programme funded by the Global Fund.
He explained: “The Fund's programmes must be fully aligned and based on national strategies. In countries where a CONASIDA and a CCM exist, there is going to come a time when there will be only one mechanism; it is impossible to maintain both. It deals with making the money work for those who need it most” concluded Cesar Nunez.
Finally, the guest speaker said that UNAIDS will continue providing technical support to countries in order to present innovative and eligible proposals for Round 10.
In this meeting, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) announced by their Ambassador, who recently signed an agreement for financial support with UNAIDS in order to provide Technical Assistance associated with the Global Fund.
By Mirta Ruiz
Key Correspondent Team – Asuncion, 10/12/09