VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has implored members of Parliament to remind Government of its commitment to the funding of the health sector and HIV and AIDS programmes in the country.
Dr Matibini said MPsâ€™ role is crucial because they shape laws, exercise scrutiny of the executive; represent the constituents and appropriate public funds.
He said lawmakers could persuade Government on mobilising domestic funding as opposed to depending on donors.
â€œMobilising domestic funding is important given the fact that donor funding on HIV and AIDS programmes in the region has decreased and overreliance on such funding is not a sustainable way of managing the fight against HIV,â€ Dr Matibini said.
The speaker said this in Lusaka yesterday when opening a workshop for MPs on the implementation of regional, continental and international commitments on HIV and AIDS financing project.
The workshop is sponsored by the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum and facilitated by the National AIDS Council.
â€œThe objectives of this workshop are in line with the SADC HIV and AIDS strategic framework whose vision is to control and reverse the HIV epidemic and its impacts,â€ Dr Matibini said.
He said the goal of the framework is to ensure that member states reduce their levels of new infection by 50 percent and mitigate its associated impact by the end of 2015.
Dr Matibini said there is need for SADC governments to lead in the mobilisation of domestic funding for HIV and AIDS and strengthening the health care system to roll out HIV prevention, treatment, care and support strategies.
The national Parliament SADC project on HIV-sustainable financing is an initiative to operationalize HIV finance.
The overall objective of the project is to enhance the technical capacity of the relevant parliamentary portfolio committee.
Dr Matibini said the project is envisaged to enable parliamentarians mobilise leadership for accelerated action and scale up national, regional and global commitments on HIV and AIDS.
VIOLET MENGO, Lusaka