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07.12.2006 Health

196 million dollars to fight HIV/AIDS; Malaria; TB

196 million dollars to fight HIV/AIDS; Malaria; TB
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The Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund (GF) has attracted about 196-million dollars to facilitate national efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for a period of 10 years.

Minister of Health, Major Courage Quashigah (rtd), who announced this in Accra on Wednesday, said out of the amount 93 million dollars was approved for disbursement.

Speaking at a day's workshop on strengthening the capacity of nongovernmental and civil society organisations in the implementation of the GF programmes, Major Quashigah said the amount represented about 47% of GF grants to Ghana.

The GF is largely responsible for the scale up of various interventions in three major areas.

The workshop was designed to elicit suggestions from participants on how to improve channels of communication to effectively reach target groups.

The Minister said the Government Budget for 2007 had identified the three areas and granted tax holidays in the production and importation of drugs in those areas.

He said the World Health Organisation Africa Regional Health Report indicated that Africa was spending about 260 million dollars to fight malaria excluding transportation and other costs and noted that Africa should target the eradication of malaria and other diseases.

He said such a target would take time to be achieved and urged countries and governments not to rush to show results but should diligently work for its total eradication no matter how long it would take.

On HIV/AIDS, the Major Quashigah said the outside world was not talking about nutrition, which was a core part of treatment because they wanted to sell their drugs and to make money and added that Africa had all it took to fight HIV/AIDS with good nutrition, which would help to boost the immune system of the people.

He said achieving results without wasting resources and new paradigm shift of creating wealth through health was a plus for Ghana.

He commended the CCM, implementing and technical partners for their continuous support in ensuring that the Government met the Millennium Development Goals.

He also lauded the Italian Government for their financial support of 133,000 euros to the Malaria programme and the CMM.

Mr. Louis Agbe, Chairman of CCM, said the workshop was taking place at a time when the GF was in the process of scaling up on the HIV, Malaria and TB and noted that the scaling up would require the strengthening of the existing structure and expanding collaboration among stakeholders.

Scaling up, he said required a high sense of accountability both financially and in terms of its real effects on society as that would define the future support in both scope and volume from the GF and other donors.

He noted that CCM had chalked successes, which were attributed to healthy working relationship with its Principal recipients and donors, which had also led to approval of the second phase for all three grants, based on good performance.

Inadequate service delivery, weak procurement and supplies systems, poor monitoring and evaluation, conditions of service and accommodation were some of the challenges.

He noted that a well-resourced secretariat would improve access to CCM and secretariat services by all partners thereby sustaining the gains made in the Global Fund programme in Ghana.

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