Yangon: Myanmar will get 35.6 million US dollars in grants from the Global Fund for fighting three deadly diseases in the country — tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and AIDS, a local weekly news journal reported Sunday.

Quoting sources with the Geneva-based Global Fund for Asia and the Pacific, the Myanmar Times said the two-year grants, which include 19.2 million dollars for the campaign against AIDS alone, will be disbursed through the United Nations agencies to Myanmar by September-October.

Myanmar, joining with over 100 nations, constitute part of the global experiment to stop the spread of the three diseases.

Under these funds, Myanmar’s fight against the three diseases will be expanded especially in the prevention programs with increased access to treatment.

Myanmar has been implementing a 3-year anti-HIV/AIDS program since 2003 which includes promotion of 100-percent condom use and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission.

According to official statistics, As of 2003, a total of 6,727 AIDS cases were reported and 45,968 HIV infections estimated in Myanmar, while total deaths out of AIDS cases went to 2,843 in the country.

As for TB control, the government has, since 1997, been adopting the Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) strategy in treating the disease as recommended by the World Health Organization. Partly with the aid of the Global Drug facility in terms of TB medicines for three years,
60 percent of the TB patients received treatment annually under the strategy and 82 percent of them were cured, adding to about 100,000 cured TB patients since 1997.

With regard to fight against malaria, Myanmar has provided tens of thousands of insecticide-treated mosquito nets for people in high-risk areas in the country. Official figures reveal that there has been significant decline in the mortality rate out of malaria since 1996. Three years ago, it registered that 1.2 percent of its population contracted malaria and the disease accounted for about 6 deaths in every 100,000
people.