Gov Feeds

The Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini

 REMARKS BY HON. DR THAMBO E. GINA

MINSTER FOR ECONOMIC PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT

AT THE

SIGNING CEREMONY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVE GRANT

AGREEMENT (DOAG) FOR A STRENGTHENED RESPONSE TO HIV/AIDS

ROYAL VILLAS MDZIMBA ROOM

THURSDAY 09TH MAY 2019

1000 HRS

  

 

My Colleague, the Hon. Minister for Health, Senator Lizzy Nkosi

My Colleague the Hon. Minister for Finance, Hon. Neil Rijkenberg

Your Excellency Ambassador Lisa Peterson, US Ambassador to Eswatini

Mr John Groarke, the Regional Mission Director for USAID,

Ms Wendy Benzerga the USAID Country Director,

Principal Secretaries of MOH, MEPD, MOF, DPMO, and MTAD

The Attorney General

Senior Government Officials and PEPFAR/Eswatini team

Media Houses Present,

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good Morning!

It is my singular honour to be part of this important and historic event where we are gathered here for the signing of the Development Objective Grant Agreement (DOAG) for a strengthened response to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Eswatini.

 

As a ministry responsible for coordinating Development Assistance in the Kingdom, it would be “Out of Order” for me to ignore and not make mention, in this important forum, the level of support, our country receives from the US Government in the pursuit of sustainable and inclusive development for this country.Today’s signing of the DOAG is exhibition of the good and long-lasting cooperation which exists between our two Governments.  

 As a country, we are therefore pleased and honoured to continuously enjoy the invaluable support from the U. S. Government and are humbled to have amongst us here today, the US Ambassador to Eswatini, the USAID Regional Mission Director and his team and the USAID team based at the US Embassy.

 Today’s event is indeed a significant and symbolic occasion where we solidify the already existing relationship and commitment between our two governments in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

 Ladies and Gentlemen,

As it would be known, HIV and AIDS pose a serious challenge to the development of many economies in Sub-Saharan Africa including the Kingdom of Eswatini. It is in this view and in an effort to overcome this challenge, that the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini forged an extensive cooperation in the area of HIV/AIDS.

 Over the last decade, the US Government, through its President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Program, invested a total of $437,356,392 to support the response to HIV/AIDS in Eswatini. The PEPFAR program supported 175,912 people on antiretroviral therapy (ART) and 13,636 voluntary male circumcision under prevention, during the 2018 financial year.  In addition, targeted HIV testing services were provided for 407,574 people and 34,180 Orphans and Vulnerable Children and their caregivers received supportive services under the program during the same year.

 The Ambassador has already highlighted some of the key achievements made by the country in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which include the reduction of HIV prevalence by 44% over a five-year period spanning from 2011 to 2016. One of the contributing factors to these achievements, is the country’s multi-sectoral approach to the HIV/AIDS response which USAID has continuously supported over the years across the HIV continuum which is from prevention to impact mitigation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to acknowledge the good collaboration and joint effort in putting together the DOAG which we are here about today.

May I begin with lauding the good leadership exhibited by the Government of Eswatini while working with USAID and the US Embassy in the development of the DOAG. The collaborated effort of the four Principal Secretaries (MEPD, PMO, MOF and MOH) and their teams, the Attorney General and team, the Director of NERCHA, the USAID Regional Legal Advisor and the US Embassy officials led to the finalization of the DOAG and its subsequent approval by the Government of Eswatini.

 Further to this, I am pleased to inform this congregation, particularly the United States Government, that the high-level working team comprising the Principal Secretaries and the teams listed herein, has already began conversations on the implementation modalities of the DOAG, to ensure that the objectives of this agreement come to fruition.

This level of commitment and dedication has culminated to this inaugural event and for that I want to voice my appreciation, recognize and encourage the spirit of cooperation and support exhibited by this group throughout the finalization of the DOAG.

As we sign the DOAG today, we symbolize and demonstrate continued commitment and support to the work the US Government is carrying-out through USAID, which is aimed at enabling our country reach and sustain epidemic control.

The DOAG offers a unique opportunity for USAID and Government to jointly define developmental goals, modalities for strengthening efficiency, transparency, accountability and enhance Government ownership of USAID supported programs.

Your Excellency AND Regional Mission Director,

Allow me, for the benefit of all present here, to make a few highlights in terms of the support Eswatini receives from USAID. USAID works through the PEPFAR program to support numerous HIV/AIDS programs including strengthening the support for HIV prevention and the coordination function of NERCHA. Here we are talking about, the comprehensive clinical support for HIV prevention and treatment services in collaboration with the Ministry of Health; the community and family-based support to OVC and their caregivers; the health systems strengthening support including the Client Management Information System (CMIS) as well as the technical assistance to the Ministry of Health to strengthen supply chain for HIV drugs and commodities. In addition, USAID supports the Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development (MTAD) to provide grass root level support to traditional/community leaders and regional structures to enable them to understand and own HIV related data and coordinate the HIV response at community level.  All these programs are critical for Eswatini to attain control of the epidemic and provide a conducive environment for a sustained response.

It is also important to note that the achievements made in reaching this milestone of 95:95:95 have other dimensions in relation to the scourge and health related challenges. I wish to take this opportunity and request that the funding support is extended to those areas so as not to open an opportunity to lose all the gains made. The health sector currently faces many challenges and government’s ability to address those is heavily curtailed due to fiscal constraints. We bank on your continued support.

 With the current level of support and commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS, I see great and promising prospects for USAID-Government of Eswatini cooperation not only in HIV/AIDS but also in other areas of development in the near future.

I believe that the high-level support provided by all parties during the development of the DOAG will continue post the signing of the document to ensure alignment of USAID programs at policy and strategic levels and to provide continued support at high level in government.

 May I urge the team of Principal Secretaries from the Ministries supported by the USAID to continue working in partnership with USAID and other government ministries to ensure that the Government of Eswatini and the US Government achieve the objective of this agreement, which is to strengthen Eswatini’s response to HIV/AIDS.

 I once again wish to voice my gratitude and to extend my congratulations to the teams AND the Government of Eswatini on the signing of the Development Objective Grant Agreement.

 Thank you!

 

 

Minister of Economic planning and Development Hon. Dr Tambo Gina is in to Taiwan to meet with various Ministers and organizations. Min of Economic Planning is responsible for external resource mobilization and aid coordination as part of its portfolio responsibility. Taiwan's assistance to Eswatini includes rural electrification, water, construction of hospitals, schools, agriculture etc(count most of them) The visit is for one week. Recently Taiwanese doctors were in the country providing free medical care.

HONOURABLE MINISTER DR E.T. GINA
MINISTER OF ECONOMIC PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT’ SPEECH

 AT THE LAUNCH AND DISSEMINATION OF THE 2017 ESWATINI VITAL STATISTICS REPORT

 THURSDAY, 29th NOVEMBER, 2018

ROYAL SWAZI SUN

 Programme Director

Principal Secretaries
UN Representatives
Civil Society and Private Sector Partners present
Media houses present
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
A very good morning to you all.
On behalf of the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you here, to the launch of the 2017 vital statistics report for the kingdom of Eswatini, under this year’s priority theme for CRVS “Promoting Innovative Universal Civil Registration and Vital Statistics System for Good Governance and Better Lives”

It is worth noting that CRVS is increasingly being recognized as a critical mechanism in our everyday lives:
1) For supporting good governance (through data driven planning and accountability, links with electoral rolls etc.)
2) As a financial management tool (linkages with social security) and data linkages (through identity management)
3) As a key element in supporting human rights, social inclusion and access to education (through the recognition of identity and associated rights, and the accountability of measuring and recording deaths).
As such, the production of accurate Vital statistics (VS) on vital events such as births, deaths and causes of death, is important for policy development, planning of programs and research and for monitoring development frameworks such as SDGs.

Notably, the Kingdom of Eswatini has an obligation to report on two of the seventeen SDGs that have targets and indicators related to a well-functioning Civil Registration and Vital Statistics system.
• Under SDG goal number 3 –for which we need to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, the CRVS system is expected to provide data on causes of death.
• Whilst under SDG goal number 17 –for which we need to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development, the CRVS must provide information on the timeliness and completeness of registration.
Vital Statistics are an essential part of a national statistical system and critical for generating timely, continuous data on births and deaths, and subsequently population measures such as fertility and mortality. A high level of completeness (nearly 100% for births and more than 80% for deaths) is required in order for data generated from Civil Registration to be considered reliable for statistical purposes without substantial correction.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am proud to say that the central statistical office in collaboration with the departments of civil registration, Government Computer Services, the Health Management and Information Unit, and development partners have made significant progress in compiling good and reliable vital statistics for the Kingdom of Eswatini.
The 2017 Vital Statistics report highlights an increase in the level of completeness for birth registrations, from 8.3% in the year 2016 to 13.2% for the year 2017. The achieved level of completeness for death registration was 25.3%. However, timeliness in registration is a challenge confronting not only the Kingdom of Eswatini but many other African countries. This therefore indicates the need for government to intervene since this shows that either the service does not reach the population or people do not want to take up this service.
TB, AIDS and cancer were found to be leading underlying causes of death in the population, and amongst children under 5 years of age, Diarrheal diseases were the leading condition followed by malnutrition and maternal related deaths.
The figures from the report indicate for a lot of work that needs to be done in the collection and compilation of vital statistics. Although vital events are continuously registered in the country, these prove not to be timely/ current, thus being in an incomplete state, for the computation of other vital indicators on fertility and mortality.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As I conclude I would like to thank all partners who joined hands to make this CRVS report a reality. My heartfelt gratitude is towards UNFPA for providing both technical and financial support in all stages of this exercise. ICAP through PEPFAR/CDC for providing technical support.
I commend the Central Statistical Office under the Ministry of Economic Planning, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Information Communication and technology, and the Ministry of Health for their joint efforts in this exercise. To the members of both the Technical Working Group and Steering Committee, we are grateful for your hard work. I would also like to encourage the Eswatini population to take interest in the registration of all vital events.
Distinguished ladies and Gentlemen, it is now my honour to officially launch the 2017 Eswatini Annual Vital Statistics report. It is also my sincere hope that this report will open up space to discuss objectively, CRVS issues that policy makers and the entire Eswatini nation should be mindful of - and that which they have to act upon - to enable attainment of vision 2022, Agenda 2030 on the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063.

I thank you.

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