FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

UNITAID approves more than $140 million worth of grants

UNITAID, a global health initiative, announced on Friday that its executive board approved more than $140 million in new funding, including projects related to pediatric HIV treatment.

The organization will provide $30 million for pediatric HIV treatment in Uganda, Mozambique and Malawi through 2015. Part of the funds, $12.6 million worth, will be allocated to ensure improved coordination for the pediatric HIV medicines market.

"More investment in pediatric HIV treatment is still needed, despite our huge success in creating incentives for companies to develop treatment for children living with HIV in low-income countries," Philippe Douste-Blazy, the chairman of the UNITAID executive board, said. "Until the day when no child is born with HIV, UNITAID will remain committed to the right of children living with the virus to lead healthy, normal lives."

One of UNITAID's first investments in 2006 was the development of pediatric HIV treatments for low-income countries. Thirty-seven countries previously supported by UNITAID are now able to successfully finance their own pediatric HIV programs from other sources.

"The UNITAID commitments made today to Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda will enable these countries to have their funding transitioned to other sources in 2015," Denis Broun, the executive director of UNITAID, said.

UNITAID also approved $35 million in grants to the Clinton Global Health Initiative and UNICEF to continue scaling up point-of-care diagnostic technology access, $14.9 million to the Stop TB Partnership's Global Drug Facility to expand a stockpile for multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis medicines and a $50 million extension to the World Health Organization's Prequalification Programme for Medicines and Diagnostics.