US$ 40 million Announced to Strengthen HIV and Tuberculosis Response in Sudan and reach out to Most Vulnerable Population

Aug 9, 2015

Geneva –9 August, 2015 - Two new agreements reached in Sudan by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Federal Ministry of Health and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is set to halt spread of HIV among most at risk Sudanese population and keep TB under control.

"Thanks to our collaboration with UNDP we have made significant progress in managing the burden of HIV and tuberculosis. This grant is a new breakthrough as it will help us to address the special needs of most at risk population”, noted Dr. Tarig Abdallrahim, Director of the Communicable and Non-Communicable Disease Control Directorate in the Federal Ministry of Health. “Five mobile clinics will be set up to manage TB epidemic in ‘hard to reach’ population in 5 states of Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan.”

Since 2005, UNDP has been actively supporting the Government of Sudan to reduce HIV and TB transmission and morbidity and to strengthen the national health system.  Results in terms of containing the epidemic and service coverage are significant. For instance, the HIV counselling and testing has increased from 14,000 in 2007 to 250,034 in 2014. Similarly, the number of health facilities providing antiretroviral treatment increased from 21 in 2007 to 36 in 2014. In addition, the number of people living with HIV taking antiretroviral treatment increased from 319 in 2007 to 3,937 in 2014. Between 1990 and 2012, the number of deaths due to tuberculosis was reduced from 11,000 to 8,000 (by 27 %) with about 8,000-10,000 patients succumbing yearly to the disease. The number of new cases of tuberculosis decreased by 4.55% from more than 44,000 in 1990 to 42,000 in 2012.

The grant is set to manage over 2017 the steady decrease of the TB epidemic. It will specifically aim at increasing the identification of new TB cases, reaching 26,600 yearly cases by 2016 – a 10% increase compared to nowadays and improve treatment outcome so that 90% of new infected patients and 75% of those who are suffering a relapse are definitely cured. It will also intensify efforts to detect multi drug resistant tuberculosis all across Sudan and treat them diligently to save lives.  It will also provide diagnostic equipment and tuberculosis drugs including pediatric formula  to enable patients  to receive treatment free of charge.

The grant is also set to maintain HIV prevalence rates below 2.5 percent among most-at-risk populations and below 0.3 percent among the general population by 2017. The grant will also be used to improve the quality of life; health and wellbeing of people living with HIV by providing universal access to comprehensive quality HIV treatment, care and support services.

UNDP Sudan Country Director Mr. Selva Ramachandran reiterated UNDP’s commitment to fighting  HIV/ AIDS and TB in Sudan: “UNDP’s goal is to strengthen the response at the national, state and locality level by supporting the development of local expertise and backstopping programme performance. To get TB under control, the authorities are planning to provide social support to patients and develop a national campaign to fight stigma as discrimination severely hinders TB efforts. Regarding HIV, testing is essential to curve down the epidemic and we remain committed to supporting the provision of HIV testing, counseling and treatment to those in need.”

The grant is expected to increase the retention rate of people living with HIV on Antiretroviral   treatment (ARV) to 85 % after 12 months from 67% back in 2103.

Another breakthrough of the grant is that Sudan is the first country to submit an integrated Concept Note to the Global Fund for the three diseases and health system strengthening. The newly formed Directorate of Communicable and Non Communicable Disease Control in the Federal Ministry of Health, responsible for these programs will spearhead the implementation of the HIV, TB and Malaria grant in Sudan with UNDP support in a coordinated fashion.  

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB & Malaria has been supporting Sudan since 2005  by funding the HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria programs including Health System Strengthening. The overall goal of the GF supported projects is to prevent deaths caused by the three diseases, to interrupt transmission of HIV, to reduce morbidity, and to strengthen the health system. The New Funding Model grants are invested for impact in HIV, TB and Malaria programs.

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Sarah Bel, UNDP Communication Specialist in Geneva



Yusra Salim, UNDP Communication Specialist in Sudan



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