By Abiemwense Moru
The Federal Government on Tuesday inaugurated Global Fund Grant Cycle-7 on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Resilient and Sustainable System for 2024-2026 implementation period.
Prof. Ali Pate, the Coordinating Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Federal Ministry of Health, said the programme was beneficial to the good people of Nigeria.
The minister said the occasion of another grant implementation cycle was apt as it marked an important period in the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Pate, who is also the Chairman of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), said the grant would also support the building of resilient and sustainable system for health towards pandemic preparedness.
He added that the grant would ensure health security to all citizens, including the most vulnerable population such as women and children less than five years.
According to him, Nigeria is the highest recipient of the Global Fund grant in the 2021 – 2023 implementation periods with over 1.2 billion dollars, including COVID-19 allocation.
Pate said experience from investment in health systems with high emphasis on laboratory systems strengthening for surveillance, diagnostics and quality assurance/quality control informed the implementation design of 2024- 2026 implementation period.
He explained that at the end of 2023, more than 87 million nets had been distributed across Nigeria over the last five years with the Global Fund’s support.
“The Government of Nigeria, PEPFAR, The Global Fund and other partners’ efforts have significantly increased the number of people diagnosed with HIV and placed on antiretroviral therapy.
“Over the years, the efforts by the governments and partners have enabled some successes in HIV/AID, Tuberculosis and Malaria responses in Nigeria.
“In December 2022, The CCM Nigeria received the allocation for 2023-2025,’’he said.
Pate said throughout 2023, the instrumentality of stakeholders’ engagement was deployed to develop a robust Funding Request that was considered technically sound by the Global Fund Technical Review Panel (TRP).
He added that the TRP also recommended that the CCM-Nigeria should proceed with grant making.
“At the end of the entire processes, we have eight grants signed with the Global Fund and the nominated Principal Recipient (PR).
“The PRs grant portfolio and amount respectively are National Agency for the Control of AIDS- HIV/AIDS 10,663,394:00 dollars, National AIDS and STDs Control Programme (NASCP)-FMOH HIV/AIDS 30,038,555:00 dollars.
“National Tuberculosis, Leprosy; Buruli Ulcer Control Programme (NTBLCP)-FMOH Tuberculosis 122,390,772:00 dollars, Institute for Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) HIV/TB (C-Grant) 340,095,438:00 dollars, National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP)-FMOH Malaria 80,877,025:00 dollars.
“Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Malaria 315, 933,900:00 dollars, National Tuberculosis, Leprosy; Buruli Ulcer Control Programme- FMOH RSSH 42,557,406:00 dollars, Lagos State Ministry of Health RSSH 4,100,440:00 dollars
The minister said this amounted to a total of 933,156,931dollars.
Pate also urged the state to take leadership and ownership of this process to ensure sustainability.
“This means ensuring that both state and local government areas commit resources not only for the three diseases currently receiving support from The Global Fund but also for other interventions in the state.
“I appeal to our media and religious leaders to assist in encouraging people in our communities to access the care at the designated facilities (Public and Private),’’ he said.
In his remark, Sen. George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said the Global Fund was created to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM).
Akume represented by Dr Maurice Mbaeri, Permanent Secretary (General Services Office) SGF, said this was first conceived in Nigeria during the World Malaria Summit in Abuja in 2000, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
He said the Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health, catalysed the creation of the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Nigeria in March 2002, as the only recognised entity that could access the Global Fund grants on behalf of Nigeria.
“Through this partnership, the Government of Nigeria has demonstrated commitment, ownership and put in use the resources allocated to the country by the Global Fund to support the fighting against the scourge of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
“This is with conscious efforts towards building a Resilient and Sustainable System for Health (RSSH).
“The government’s political will has been demonstrated and in this current implementation period, 2024 – 2026 the expected co-financing for the three diseases and health in general will be provided.
“I am elated that the CCM has put in place a good governance structure that is participatory and representative across the different sectors with effective oversight mechanism that will oversee the implementation of the Grant Cycle 7.
“To ensure full compliance with the grant confirmation agreement,”Akume said.
Also, Ms. Kachallom Daju, Permanent Secretary of Health, appreciated the Global Fund for the continued support to Nigeria.
“It’s on record that HIV, TB and Malaria allocation for Nigeria has been adjusted upwards to better account for the burden and needs of key and vulnerable populations.
“The increased allocation also aims to address the critical service coverage gaps among pregnant women, children, key populations and adolescent, gaps in finding TB missing cases in children and in the private sector.
“The Global Fund endowment is supporting evidence-based programmes that should also make use of available evidence to improve the public-sector/private-sector approach, and the performance-based funding.
The country’s concerted efforts of stakeholders of diverse constituencies would be activated towards yielding positive results during the implementation.
“The current Global Fund GC-7 grants for 2024-2026, totaling 933 million dollars, for which we are gathering here today, would support interventions in 13 priority states in Nigeria for malaria.
“Four comprehensive states for HIV/AIDS and all the 36 states plus FCT will benefit from Tuberculosis’s grant.
“It will also support health system strengthening in all 36 states plus FCT and will support 5 states with health insurance for vulnerable group,” she said.
On his part, Hon. Godwin Ogah, Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Control (ATM), said that a healthy nation should also be a wealthy nation as the saying goes.
“Therefore, in the area of funding we must put our money where our health is involved and with the launch of next cycle of funding, with implementation period of Jan. 1, 2024 to December 2026 today.
“I am convinced that there is a greater will by Government and key stakeholders to provide the willingness and commitment to ensure community systems and their structures are strengthened, resourced and empowered,” he said.
He said consequently, the country would in no doubt attain all targets that had been established in the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by the year 2030.
“As representatives of Government and the people, I believe it is unacceptable that a greater percentage of funding for our fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria come from foreign partners.
“We must consciously and systematically bridge this funding gap to at least 50 per cent.
“We in the parliament will continue to provide the constitutional approvals for the allocation of resources towards our health needs.
“We will also collaborate with relevant stakeholders and foreign partners and donor agencies alike to ensure we attain mutual targets,” he said.
Mr Ayo Ipinmoye, First vice Chair of Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), explained that CCM Nigeria’s core mandates were to identify strategic HIV, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria (ATM) programmes for Nigeria.
According to him, it is also to develop and submit proposals to the Global Fund for funding and to provide guidance and support to implementation of the grant for impact, such as selection of Principal Resilient (PR).
“Provide technical and managerial oversight to utilisation of the funds. Mobilise domestic resources to complement Global Fund investments in Nigeria and Information dissemination through member constituencies,” he said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola