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Remarks by South African Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, at the Global Fund's Sixth Replenishment Conference

9 and 10 October 2019, Lyon

 Excellencies,

 I bring greetings and warm wishes from President Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of the Republic of South Africa, who sends his regrets that he cannot be with us today.  

Before we had antiretrovirals many people living with HIV were hopeless and helpless. Today we have very effective medication – one tablet once a day – which enables people with HIV to live long and healthy lives. However, as it is now a chronic disease, there is huge cost of maintenance treatment for survivors. We need to ensure that people do take their medication daily and live without stigma. We need to step up the fight to ensure that people living with HIV, tuberculosis or malaria are provided with the best possible care and a supportive environment.

Like many countries, South Africa, has been a significant beneficiary of resources from the Global Fund.

We are very grateful for your support.

This has helped us deal with the epidemics:

  • a large numbers of drug sensitive and drug resistant TB patients and malaria.
  • 7.8 million South Africans living with HIV,
  • 4.8 million on antiretroviral therapy,
  • 1400 young women being infected with HIV every week
  • 360 000 new TB infections annually,
  • the country continues to battle a huge burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases.

  Together with other donors and OUR OWN resources we are committed and determined to eliminate ALL three epidemics in the African continent and in the world within one generation!!!

Many countries with significant resource constraints make a significant effort to contribute to the Global Fund, as a demonstration of our commitment to this partnership.

We encourage donors to respect and work with country leaders to ensure that implementing countries OWN the programs and guide the prioritisation of interventions suitable for each country to achieve SDGs, the implementation of universal health coverage and strengthening of health systems.

As part of our pledge, South Africa, commits to continuing to be a donor, albeit a modest one, and will increase our contribution to $10 million (US Dollars) over the next three years.

 I thank you