By Philip Thon Aleu
April 3, 2009 (BOR TOWN) – South Sudan HIV/Aids Commission (SSAC) concluded a two day sensitization workshop on funds availability for implementation of various projects here today, SSAC Executive Director says the aim is fully achieved.
"All the Non Governmental Organizations’ representatives and the civil society, attending this workshop, have now known and will continue to know that MDTF (Multi-Donor Trust Funds) resources for fighting HIV/Aids are available," Dr. Angok Gordon Kuol responded when asked at press conference to unleash the outcomes of the workshop adding "and the procedures of obtaining them were shown."
SSAC has mobilized US $36.75million (36,750,000) to funding projects from NGOs campaigning against world’s untreated killer disease – Aids. MDTF donated 84.3% of the funds as South Sudan contributes 13.6% - about US $5 millions.
SSAC officials held the first half of the workshop at the council of ministers’ hall Thursday and the last phase at John Garang Institute of Science and Technology Friday attended by local and international NGOs as well as the civil societies. They outlined steps to win funding for Aids projects and condition thereto.
An official advert inviting bids will be released shortly for, officials say.
Southern Sudanese living with HIV/Aids rarely disclose their health status to avoid isolation by community and family members. Ms. Rukia Jaffar, an Aids victim, isn’t tranquil as such and has this to say:
"Evening my mother has isolated me but these are the problems we [Aids positive patients] can face. We must, however, disclose our Aids status to help our communities," she said.
HIV/Aids comes for mention in most Southern Sudan cities on the international Aids day only but uncommonly spoken in rallies.
The major barriers, analysts say, is the fact that SSAC employs foreigners at Aids directorates at State levels whose interaction with local communities is minimum. But Angok Gordon, the executive director of SSAC – GoSS defended their selection. MDTF only releases funds when projects, prepared by qualified persons are represented, he said, barring substantial number of local workers from attaining the position.
Jonglei today proved one of the States where Aids awareness has been under-standard as Voluntary Consultation Center remains close seven days in a week, participants claimed.
Attending the workshop today include Director of Aids Commission Central Equatoria State Joel Dumba, NGOs operating in Jonglei State and others.