Sustaining the AIDS response through public–private partnerships

Published on 20 Jan 2015 View Original

The ministers of health and private sector representatives of the countries of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) agreed on 15 January to establish a health trust fund to sustain the response to AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Participants at the first-ever formal dialogue between SADC health ministers and the private sector, which was held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, on the sidelines of the Joint Meeting of the SADC Ministers of Health and Ministers Responsible for HIV and AIDS, agreed on a public–private health financing partnership anchored on the following four priorities:

  • Establish a regional health trust fund before the World Health Assembly in May 2015.

  • Create a public–private working group to meet twice a year on the sidelines of the SADC ministers of health meetings to review and strengthen joint initiatives.

  • Develop an information exchange portal to improve knowledge and experience-sharing between the public and private sectors.

  • Strengthen employee health programmes in the private sector and introduce health reporting—known as the fourth bottom line strategy—in corporate financial reporting.

Participants appointed Sheila Tlou, Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa, to lead the establishment of a task team with a mandate that includes creating the public–private trust fund and proposing innovative funding mechanisms.


“Increased domestic funding is crucial and each country must appeal to ministers of finance and Heads of State to strengthen this innovative resource mechanism. This important partnership with the private sector will also assist us with the efficiency of existing resources allocated to disease-specific interventions.”
Arron Motsoaledi, Minister of Health of South Africa

“This is a historic event that underlines the importance of partnerships between government and the private sector. No government on its own can overcome the challenges of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”
Sheila Tlou, Director, UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Eastern and Southern Africa

“Healthy workforces and healthy communities are essential for business success and economic growth. The private sector should not leave the responsibility of strengthening health systems to government alone. We can do much more to build health systems based on the best of what both the public and private sectors have to offer.”
Brian Brink, Chair of the Southern Africa Development Community Private Sector Constituency for Health