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2024-04-29 08:10

VUSTA - Global fund project summary for the period of 2021- 2023

On December 26th, 2023, VUSTA Project (VUSTA - Global fund to fight HIV/AIDS project) held a summary conference for the period of 2021 – 2023 in Ha Noi

Attendees including Vice President of VUSTA, Project Manager, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Quang Thao; Vice President of VUSTA, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Pham Ngoc Linh; Deputy Secretary-General, Dr. Le Cong Luong; Head of Department of International Cooperation, MSc. Duong Thi Nga and staff from the Project Management Board as well as 3 units: Institute for Social Development Studies (ISDS), Centre for Supporting Community Development Initiatives (SCDI), Centre For Promotion Of Quality Of Life (LIFE), representatives of community-based organizations, representatives of the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control Ministry of Health, Foreign Economic Relations Department, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Department of Debt Management and External Finance, Ministry of Finance, Viet Nam Country Coordinating Mechanism for Global Fund (CCM), project "Regional Artemisinin-resistance Initiative 3 Elimination" of the Institute of Malariology Parasitology and Entomology, Ministry of Health.

The conference aims to report the results of the VUSTA Project from 2021 to 2023, and discuss the management and operation of the project and provide implementation plan the project for the period 2024 - 2026. 


Scene of the conference

The project accomplished all the given tasks

Pham Quang Thao - Vice President of VUSTA spoke at the beginning of the conference which emphasized the main goal of the project is to strengthen participation of science and technology organizations under VUSTA and community-based organizations in HIV/AIDS prevention and control, while contribute to the National strategy to end the AIDS Epidemic by 2030.

He spoke that after 3 years of implementation, all of the goals of the project had been fulfilled, contributing to the National strategy to end the AIDS Epidemic by 2030. With that results, VUSTA Project always is highly appreciated by the sponsors: In 2021, the project ranked A3 (disbursement rate 83.1% due to Covid-19 epidemic), in 2022 - ranked A2 (excellent activities with 107,9% disbursement rate), in 2023, the project is expected to rank A1 (disbursement rate at the of November will be 85,5%). The 3-year total rate is expected to be 93%.

MSc. Le Hung Viet - Permanent Vice President of VUSTA Project reported the results of project implementation from 2021 - 2023, project closure procedure and the plan for 2024 - 2026.

VUSTA Project period 2021- 2023 had the overall goal to strengthen participation of science and technology organizations under VUSTA and community-based organizations in HIV/AIDS prevention and control, while contributing to the National strategy to end the AIDS Epidemic by 2030. 

With 4 particular tasks: 1) Providing HIV prevention services; 2) Strengthen community systems and 3) Increase access to health services for target groups and 4) Minimize the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The project has a total cost of 7,492,067 USD, of which 6,500,000 USD for the HIV/AIDS prevention and control, and 992,067 USD for the Covid-19 prevention.

The results from January 1st 2021 to November 30th 2023 show that 4 tasks were successfully completed. The project provided prevention services for 155.218 customers (102,4% of the plan), tested 141.585 people which detected 3,340 HIV positive patients (accounted for 2.5% of people tested) and connected 3,289 people (98.5%) to ARV treatment. 

As of January 30, 2023, the project has distributed more than 15 million needles and syringes (reaching 103% of the plan), more than 16.8 million condoms (86.4%), and more than 9.1 million lubricants (76.1%), collected nearly 5.3 million used syringes and needles (reaching 35% of the number).

Moreover, the project has expanded to new areas: An Giang, Dong Thap and Soc Trang (stop in Ho Chi Minh City). 

With the role as professional management unit representative, MSc Vo Hai Son - Deputy Director of Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (Ministry of Health) emphasized that the National data show the increasing number of children who get HIV from their mothers. HIV cases increase more in the MSM group, especially young MSM. All the deaths of M-pox are HIV positive MSM which raises the discrimination and concern of society. 

Every year, around 2 million Vietnamese have been tested for HIV, 600.000 of them are with high risk of HIV positive. VUSTA Project with community based organizations have well performed their tasks to approach and reach this key population.

At the conference MSc Vo Hai Son - Deputy Director of Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control (Ministry of Health) highly appreciated the role of VUSTA Project, implementing units and community-based organizations in HIV fighting activities. He also pointed out the current challenges such as the number of HIV cases detected in 2023 is about 14,000 people, (more than 4.000 people compared to 2022), the number of increased cases in MSM group and transgender women. Using synthetic drugs leading to unsafe sex is one of the high-risk behaviors leading to HIV infection.

MSc. Dr. Vo Hai Son also said in the coming period, two projects under VUSTA and Ministry of Health will continue to build the regulations to promote the existing strengths and overcome the limitations of the current status to give facilitation for HIV prevention support activities.

Beside that, Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control is also cooperating with relevant agencies to amend the Decree toward that create conditions for community-based organizations to be encouraged and protected by law in participating in HIV/AIDS prevention activities, but at the same time, these individuals and organizations also need to comply with laws and regulations, such as the regulation of performing HIV test in the community requires a training.

The project is fully supported

Mrs. Nong Thi Hong Hanh, representative of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, highly appreciated the results that the VUSTA Project has achieved in the past 3 years, VUSTA has shown the special attention to this project by assigning directly the Vice President to be the Project Director. 

According to a representative of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the project is in the process of submitting documents for approval in 2024-2026. However, unlike the previous project when each unit is given a specific task. The 2024-2026 period will require competitive bidding to select the most competitive contractors to implement the project in a fair competition.

Mrs. Hanh emphasized that VUSTA is responsible for this project, so it is necessary to strengthen the monitoring all project activities, including inspection and supervision of disbursement of bidding packages from local contractors, VUSTA also needs to see if the 2024 budget has been planned yet. If not, it needs to be supplemented and submitted to the National Assembly for approval. If it is not approved, the budget can not be spent on the approval project.

The project needs backup plans in first quarter 2024 while waiting for approval and bidding procedures. 

According to Mr. Dang Anh Tuan, representative of Ministry of Finance, the project needs to report more clearly about the cooperative activities with Ministry of Health and health agencies at provicinal level in recording the project's results and its contributions to the national and local HIV prevention situation.

For the period 2021-2023, settlement procedures have now been carried out until 2022, and will be continued for the year of 2023. For the period 2024-2026, it is necessary to: Review the functions and tasks of sub recipients instead of implementing as an umberella project. It requires public biddings and shows the role of the project owner in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Departments of Health of provinces and cities, data must be recognized by relevant authorities.

According to Mr. Tuan, VUSTA 2024-2026 project has been approved by the National Assembly.

The representative of Ministry of Public Security also highly appreciated the results VUSTA project has achieved over the past 3 years. Ministry of Public Security fully supports the project because it is a humanitarian project, helping the community by detecting and transferring people with high-risk HIV for testing and treatment and we hope that the project will comply with legal regulations in testing consulting, ensuring that implementers are fully trained, and keeping information confidential of customers according to the law. He noted that in implementing testing or other activities at provinces, it is necessary to share and have consent of relevant agencies at province in order to have a better support and coordination. 

Speaking conclusion, Pham Ngoc Linh, Vice President of VUSTA acknowledged and thanked the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control, ministries, branches, authorities, disease control centers, medical facilities in localities have always accompanied and supported the VUSTA project to gain set out goals. He emphasized the importance of in time reporting and sharing information of project activities to authorities, medical facilities, and police in localities implementing the project, in order to ensure activities are performed smoothly.

VUSTA Vice President also requested the project management board to fully implement project closure requirements and prepare well for the project in the period 2024-2026.

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