The United States today demonstrated its ongoing commitment to improving the health of all Ugandans by providing $8.6 million worth of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to Uganda’s National Medical Stores. At a February 15 ceremony, U.S. Ambassador to Uganda Deborah R. Malac signed an implementation letter between United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Local Government, the Office of the Prime Minister, the National Medical Stores, and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, that will strengthen accountability in Uganda’s supply chain. By expanding assistance in the public health sector, the U.S. government will help ensure that HIV-positive Ugandans across the country can access these life-saving drugs.

The additional ARVs will assist in Uganda’s roll out of the new Test and Treat policy, an aggressive approach that puts more HIV-positive Ugandans on ARV treatment immediately upon diagnosis. The donation will support Uganda’s National Medical Stores in supplying sufficient amounts of ARVs to government health facilities across the country – helping to reach both existing and additional HIV-positive patients.

With this agreement, the Government of Uganda will be responsible for implementing and tracking the efficient distribution of these drugs. Increased accountability and transparency measures have been put in place to ensure timely and reliable distribution of these ARVs to hundreds of government health facilities – helping to strengthen Uganda’s supply chain and health systems.

Ambassador Malac noted the importance of these new measures in achieving an AIDS-free generation in Uganda. “The U.S. government remains committed to helping Ugandans living with HIV/AIDS access the life-saving treatment they need to live healthy and productive lives,” she said. “We are pleased that the Ministry of Health is taking important steps forward in improving the availability of drugs throughout the country.”

This commodities donation is part of the U.S. government’s $383 million dollar investment in Uganda through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) this fiscal year. Since 2004, PEPFAR has invested $3 billion dollars in building Uganda’s capacity to respond to HIV/AIDS and improving the overall health of Ugandans.