Buhari launches $890m health grant to tackle malaria, HIV, TB
.... tasks health minister on transparent use of fund
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire to ensure judicious use of $890 million health grant from Global Fund and set up an accountability framework to monitor the use of the fund.
Nigeria received $890 million, as a grant from the Global Fund in 2020 to tackle HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), malaria, and support Health Systems Strengthening Programmes over an implementation period of three years, beginning from 2021 to 2023.
President Buhari who launched the grant virtually on Thursday directed the minister to provide periodic performance reports to his office.
According to a statement signed by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari stressed that his administration has zero tolerance for corruption and inefficient use of resources.
The President, who assured donor agencies and development partners of judicious use of the grant, said the funding would complement investments in the health sector, help curb new infections, and reduce HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria-related morbidity and mortality.
”It is my wish that in the next three years, these three diseases are taken much further down the path of elimination,” the president was quoted saying.
The President also applauded the Global Fund for their contribution of the sum of $51 million during the early stages of Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), test kits and scale up diagnostic capacity.
”I acknowledge the support of Development Partners, namely; the United States government, the United Nations System, Bilateral Agencies and various Local and International Foundations.
”I am pleased to say that, on our part, we are on track to fulfilling our co-financing commitments to the Global Fund for this new funding cycle and meeting our other commitments as and when due,” he said.
On Nigeria’s contribution to the Fund, the President announced that he approved $12 million to the last Global Fund Replenishment held in Lyon, France, representing a 20 per cent increase on the country’s immediate previous contribution.
”Ladies and Gentlemen, our administration is committed to increasing domestic financing and exploring other innovative ways of increasing financing for health, to ensure Universal Health Coverage,” Buhari said.
Speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund programmes in Nigeria, Ehanire said Nigeria recently signed eight grants amounting to $890 million to support HIV, TB and Malaria programmes and build resilient and sustainable systems for health.
Giving an overview of the grant, he said two of them are for HIV management, amounting to $310 million, and will be administered by two principal recipients namely the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and Family Health International .
According to the Minister, $180 million of the 310 million was earmarked for procurement of antiretroviral medicines, which will maintain 1.4 million Nigerians living with HIV on lifesaving antiretroviral treatment.
Further, the Minister of Health explained that three of the grants, amounting to $153 million, are for TB, to be administered by three principal recipients including the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme, the Institute for Human Virology in Nigeria and the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
Similarly, the Minister said two of the grants for malaria elimination, amounting to $439 million will be administered by two principal recipients- the National Malaria Elimination Programme and the Catholic Relief Services while the eighth and final grant worth USD 35 million for Resilient System for Sustainable Health (RSSH) has NACA as principal recipient.
Speaking virtually from Geneva, Peter Sands, the Executive Director, Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria while commending the partnership with Nigeria, said in addition to the $890 million grant, the Global Fund has disbursed $2.6 billion to support HIV, TB and Malaria and strengthening of RSSH, since 2003.
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