Zimbabwe President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is attending the 6th Replenishment Conference organised by the Global Fund Forum in Lyon, France, has appealed for support and sought partnerships to strengthen primary health care in the country.

The President during his speech at the conference, which is seeking to raise US$14 billion to fight HIV, tuberculosis and malaria expressed his gratitude towards the Global Fund for approving close to US$2 billion for Zimbabwe to fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

“Since 2002, the Global Fund has approved nearly US$1.7 billion to Zimbabwe, of which over US$1.3 has been disbursed,” said the President.

“Let me express my profound gratitude for this invaluable support. As we build strong institutions, infrastructure and integrated services, we appeal for support and seek partnerships to strengthen primary health care, build and retain a competent health workforce to achieve Universal Health Coverage. Equally, early detection and surveillance systems of the three diseases remain paramount. Over and above the National AIDS Trust Fund (NATF), my government is developing a robust National Health Insurance Scheme and stepping up innovative domestic funding initiatives such as the traditional AIDS levy and the new Health Levy, to enable us to focus on the sustainability of our response,” said President Mnangagwa.

Over 710 000 people are currently supported by Global Fund in Zimbabwe out of a total of 1.2 million people on Anti-Retro Viral Therapy.

Government made a US$1 million contribution at the conference as the country strives towards ending AIDS by 2030.

“We remain committed to continue to contribute to this worthy effort, and hereby pledge US$1 million.”

French President Emmanuel Macron who is hosting the conference pointed the finger at several countries for not pledging enough funds for the fight against the three diseases.

In his speech, President Macron called specifically on Japan, Norway, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia to “make more of an effort” in increasing their contributions for the fight.

The Global Fund Forum aims to save 16 million lives within the next four years as well as averting 234 million infections worldwide.

President Mnangagwa is accompanied by the acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Professor Amon Murwira and other senior government officials at the conference.