By Doosuur Iwambe
President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the minister of health Dr Osagie Ehanire to ensure effective utilisation of the $890million Global Fund grant to fight HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria in Nigeria.
The president who gave the directive during the official launch of the grant ask the minister to set up an accountability framework, to monitor the use of the fund and provide periodic performance reports to him.
While assuring donor agencies and development partners of judicious use of the grant, the president reaffirmed his commitment to ensuring that the three diseases are taken much further down the path of elimination in the next three years.
”It is my wish that in the next three years, these three diseases are taken much further down the path of elimination,” he said.
The President also commended the Global Fund over the continued support to Nigeria adding that his administration will continue to work with fellow Heads of State and Governments across the continent to ensure sustained high-level political engagement to achieve the SDG goals.
”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 his part, Dr Ehanire who gave a detailed breakdown on how the grant will be administered said, the sum of $310 million has been approved to the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and Family Health International.
Explaining further, the Minister said, $180 million of the 310 million was approved for procurement of antiretroviral medicines, to charter for the 1.4 million Nigerians living with HIV and on lifesaving antiretroviral treatment.
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He added that three of the grants, amounting to $153 million, are for TB.
According to him, money is 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.
He added that 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.
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