The Global Fund has approved and signed a new grant agreement worth US$208 million [about K58.7 billion] for the National Aids Commission (NAC).

Areas of HIV/Aids intervention under the grant include purchase of Anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs), promotion of behavioural change, and strengthening of the health system.

NAC Executive Director Thomas Bisika said in an interview on Saturday that the grant was signed on Tuesday last week.

He described the signing of the grant as a welcome development, saying it would scale up the fight against HIV/Aids.

“This is good news to Malawi. The funds will help in scaling up HIV/Aids prevention efforts and treatment. We would like to prevent new infections,” Bisika said.

The signing of the grant comes at a time there have been reports of shortage of bactrim, which is also used in early stages of Anti-retroviral Therapy (ART).

The Global Fund is an international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent and treat HIV and Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Last year uncertainty in the fight against HIV/Aids was created in the country and other parts of the world when the Global Fund announced it would be unable to hand out new grants for disease fighting programmes [Round 11 of funding] because of acute shortage of money.

However, the Global Fund Board decided to take immediate and exceptional act ion by establishing a Transitional Funding Mechanism (TFM), which replaces Round11, to provide funding for the continuation of essential prevention, treatment and care services of the three diseases currently financed by the Global Fund

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