The Prime Minister, Honourable Mandvulo Dlamini has applauded the Global Fund and PEPFAR for supporting the Kingdom of Eswatini in the fight against HIV/AIDS. He said the government would enhance its investment to the HIV response to reach the ambitious goal of ending AIDS by 2022.
“Over the past 3 decades, the Kingdom of Eswatini has put up a brave and emphatic response to HIV &AIDS. One notable achievement is the number of Emaswati on life-saving treatment and adhering to their treatment regimes. “Consequently, Eswatini has been declared by UNAIDS as one of the few countries to reach the global target of 95-95-95. This means gaping 95% of people living with HIV have tested, 95% of those tested enrolled on treatment and 95% of those on treatment are virally suppressed,” he continued.
These milestones would not be achieved without continuous support from partners who provide technical, financial, and infrastructural support to ensure the delivery of quality HIV services. The Premier said Government will enhance its investments to the HIV response in-order to reach the ambitious goal of stopping new infections and AIDS related deaths as set in the vision of ending AIDS by year 2022- eight years before the global target.
“Communities in both urban and rural areas have been empowered, and more people now access HIV and reproductive health services within their communities, an achievement we are all proud of.” The Premier advised that as we acknowledge our HIV/AIDS achievements, there is need to push even more as Emaswati and the threat brought by COVID 19 can never be underestimated.
“Our health system is being stretched and some of our national resources have been re-channeled to the COVID19 response to save lives. Without doubt, the focus on this pandemic is threatening the delivery of other health services including HIV as well. We are grateful to our front liners who are soldiers in the line of fire in this COVID-19 fight. Their dedication and sacrifice is recognized and appreciated. We all need to take a moment and reflect on the interconnection between the HIV and COVID19 responses,” he said. He emphasized that it is evident that Covid19 is following the same pattern as the HIV epidemic by respecting no boundaries.
He committed that Government would ensure access to adequate supply of HIV treatment during the COVID-19 and beyond. The PM said the Ministry of Health is providing three months’ supply of HIV treatment stock to people living with HIV throughout our health facilities to allow Emaswati to access treatment without too much travelling as that may increase exposure to COVID-19 infections.