Malawi receives $300 million grant to fight AIDS

Malawi President Peter Mutharika said Thursday the country had received a grant of $332 million (292 million euros) to fight AIDS and other diseases, bringing much-needed support to a nation wrestling with public health problems.

Malawi has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, straining the impoverished country's healthcare system and economy.

Mutharika accepted the grant from international aid organisation The Global Fund in Lilongwe, Malawi's administrative capital.

"This is the largest allocation to any country in the world and we are grateful for this," Mutharika said in a statement after receiving the grant.

The president said the bulk of the money would be used to procure anti-retroviral drugs while the rest would go toward combating malaria and tuberculosis.

The would enable Malawi to provide HIV treatment for 745,000 patients by the end of 2017, The Global Fund said in a statement.

The money came from donors including the United States, the European Union and the United Nations.

While Malawi has made significant gains in combatting AIDS, it still registers hundreds of new HIV infections every week.

Malawi has trimmed the national HIV prevalence rate from over 12 percent in 2004 to 10 percent in 2014.

© 2015 AFP

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