Ghana’s performance under Global fund to combat HIV/ AIDS, others under scrutiny

Mr Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu  Deputy Minister of Health iinteracting with some of the participants at the forum,

Mr Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu Deputy Minister of Health iinteracting with some of the participants at the forum,

A day’s stakeholder forum to assess Ghana’s performance on the use of US$250 million grant from the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and improve health systems has been held in Accra.

 

On the theme “Ensuring quality service delivery to all under Global Fund grants implementation in Ghana: The Stakeholder perspective approaches towards the elimination of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria”, it was organized by the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) Ghana, which exercises oversight responsibility over the grants implementation and ensures that programme and activities are implemented as planned.

 

The assessment of performance is necessary to determine how much grant would be allocated to the country after the expiration of the current available grant in December 2020.

 

Implementing partners which received the grant included the National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), National HIV/AIDS Control Programme (NACP), National Tuberculosis Control Programme (NTP) Anglogold Malaria Limited and Ghana-West Africa Program to Combat AIDS and STIs (WAPCAS) to undertake various activities to combat the diseases within 2014 to 2016.

 

However, the total grant made available to these principal recipients for the period 2017 to December 2020 fell short of the previous grant by US$56 million to US$194 million.

 

Mr. Mark Saalfeld, Fund Portfolio Manager, High Impact Africa 1, The Global Fund, explained that allocation to the 110 beneficiary countries from the expected US$13 million global fund was based on needs, previous performance and the impact of interventions.

 

Ghana, he said, recorded mix pattern of performance with the malaria programme recording high performance while the HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis interventions did not produce the desired results.

 

“With HIV/AIDS the number of infected persons estimated to be on antiretroviral treatment was 100,000 in 2015. this is the same estimated number we are recording in 2018 despite putting in place strategic planning, providing health equipment, finding ways to identify infected persons and other measures. Again with Tuberculosis, we have not recorded a huge change in case findings for them to be cured. On Malaria, we saw high performance with regards to prevention and treatment. It was based on these outcomes that the Board of Directors and Technical Advisors allocated the sum of US$194 million to Ghana”, he stated.

 

Presently, Mr. Saalfield said, the Global Fund in collaboration with the CCM was in discussions with government and other stakeholders to invest the fund in activities to meet national targets in prioritised diseases.

 

The allocation to the country would improve significantly from the current figure if the stakeholders and partners records high performances in their interventions and present a well-defined plan and implementation structure in dealing with the disease to the Global Fund for consideration and approval, he stated.

 

Deputy Minister of Health, Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu, said government would continue to collaborate with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to intensify fight against the diseases and prioritise the delivery of quality healthcare services in the country.

 

In view of government’s limited resources to provide in providing effective healthcare services, he said the Global Fund allocation to the country was essential supporting activities and programmes to eliminate the diseases and promote its prevention.

 

He stated that improving healthcare delivery was critical to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on health and reiterated the need for more stakeholders’ platforms to assess the roles of all partners in fighting against the diseases.

Mr. Aboagye-Gyedu urged for a change in approach in the roll-out of health interventions to address current bottlenecks for enhanced results.

By Claude Nyarko Adams

 

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