Thanks to Suzy Sacher of JSI for this article regarding the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria.
Countries Slow to Use Global Fund Grants to Fund Contraceptives: A Call-to-Action for Family Planning and HIV/AIDS Advocates
Family planning programs are often chronically underfunded, and countries should take advantage of Global Fund grants to procure not only condoms but other contraceptives as well. Ensuring a steady supply of contraceptives plays an important role in HIV prevention by reducing HIV transmission via unintended pregnancies. In addition, comprehensive reproductive health services that include family planning are a vital entry point for women for a range of HIV services including counseling and testing.
Advocates have presented strong arguments to encourage countries to include the procurement of a variety of contraceptives in their Global Fund proposals, and several countries have included funding for non-condom contraceptives in their proposals. However, a recent Contraceptive Security Indicators survey conducted by the USAID/DELIVER PROJECT found that, of 39 surveyed countries, Rwanda was the only one to actually use Global Fund grants last year to procure contraceptives other than condoms. Further research revealed that, to the best of our knowledge, only three countries – Rwanda, Lesotho, and Cambodia – have ever used Global Fund grants to procure contraceptives (other than condoms). This is despite multiple reports of countries including support for family planning in their proposals and budgets. But for now, there is little evidence that this is translating into actual funding.
Family planning advocates have done a commendable job working with countries to include non-condom contraceptives in their Global Fund proposals. It’s clear that now is the time for advocates to step it up by continuing to work with countries after the grants are awarded to encourage countries to follow through with their proposals and to actually use Global Fund grants to procure contraceptives in addition to condoms. Including non-condom contraceptives in Global Fund proposals is only the first step; mobilizing these funds is the next.
For more information on Global Fund grants and how they can be leveraged to promote the availability of a range of contraceptives, see The Global Fund Supports Reproductive Health Commodity Security and Leveraging Global Fund Financing.
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