The process of forming the Swaziland HIV Investment Case is ongoing. A multisectoral team met at Piggs Peak last week to review and finalise a draft, which will soon be presented to NERCHA and UNAIDS senior management and stakeholders for review and adoption. Participants in this meeting were drawn from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Planning World Food Program (WFP), Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), NERCHA and UNAIDS.
The Swaziland HIV Investment Case development process is fueled by the recognition of the need to rethink the approach to HIV investments in Swaziland. The idea to craft an Investment Case for Swaziland) was conceived during the development of the extended National Multisectoral Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS (eNSF). Now that the eNSF has been finalised, launched and is currently being implemented until 2018, NERCHA - with technical and financial support from UNAIDS - has commissioned the development of the Swaziland HIV Investment Case. As a working draft has been prepared and is currently under review, it is projected that the Investment Case will be finalised within one month.
The Swaziland HIV Investment Case identifies five game-changing interventions which demonstrate the greatest potential to meet the country’s HIV response objective. These are:
Scaling up Antiretroviral treatment (ART), including roll-out of treatment as prevention (TasP)
Intensifying Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC)
Intensifying HIV prevention programmes for girls and young women, aged 15-24
Scale up Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and Option B+
Intensifying TB and HIV Co-infection programme
The HIV epidemic is a long-term challenge for the country, one that requires a sustainable response. Although Swaziland, over the past decade, achieved major gains in reducing the number of new HIV infections and preventing deaths from AIDS-related causes, progress has not been evenly shared across all the thematic areas of the response.
Premised on the national objective of attaining an AIDS-free Swaziland by 2022, the Swaziland HIV Investment Case (SHIC) aims to present an economic and calculated rationale for investing in five (5) strategic HIV interventions, targeting populations and the anticipated health and economic outcomes. It also provides an important vehicle for Swaziland to deliver strategic, rights-based, sustainable responses to HIV.
The Swaziland Investment Case provides new opportunities to explore options for innovative funding and service delivery, to identify specific steps to enhance equity and inclusiveness for key populations, to use available evidence to better understand the health and economic benefits of timely, rights-based, smart HIV investments and to eliminate inefficiency in HIV programmes. In addition to helping Swaziland with resource allocation and financing decisions, the Investment Case can serve as and advocacy instrument for dialogue with national and external partners, including resource mobilization.