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Global Fund Grants Just in Time for Zimbabwe Health Crisis

Zimbabwe’s badly ailing health sector is about to receive an injection of monies from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which approved three proposals from Harare for a total of $67 million - $36 million for HIV-AIDS.

Deputy Health Minister Edwin Muguti said the government would accept the funds only if there are no strings attached. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s highest HIV infection rates, and around 3,000 people in the country die each week of AIDS.

Dr. Muguti tells reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government feels “vindicated” by the latest allocation from the Global Fund, which had earlier turned down requests based on “technical” factors believed by observers to be related to how the funding would be channeled to actual health care providers.

Nongovernmental organizations have played a key role in urging the Global Fund to overcome the differences which previously prevented Zimbabwe from receiving large grants – as well as calling for greater transparency on the part of the government.

Reporter Blessing Zulu spoke with AIDS activist Frank Guni, a former president of the Zimbabwe National Association of People Living with HIV-AIDS based in Washington.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...