Global Fund has not Suspended Funding for Nigeria, Says NACA DG

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Martins Ifijeh

The Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS, NACA, Prof. John Idoko, has stated that Global Fund has not suspended its HIV, tuberculosis and malaria grants to Nigeria

The DG, who stated this on Monday in a chat with the media, said what has been suspended by the body was the quarterly disbursement of funds, adding that various intervention grants were on-going.

Idoko, who was reacting to an alleged fraud in the Global Fund grant, disclosed that the EFCC was already investigating this matter, adding that the issue on ground was directed at the DPRS in the Federal Ministry of Health.

According to him, “NACA does not implement, it is the Sub-Recipients that implement and there are weaknesses in the system which we are trying to strengthen. Part of the weaknesses is that the Primary Health Centres are not working.

“NACA provides oversight over all Sub-Recipients through periodic programmatic and fiduciary review. Management letters conveying findings and recommendations are sent to the CEOs of all Sub-Recipients each quarter. Quarterly PR/SR review meetings are also used to review performance and provide feedback to all Sub-Recipients.”

On the allegation of weak monitoring of health commodities from Global Fund, Pooled Procurement Mechanism, PPM, at Federal Medical Store, FMS, he said: “The FMS serves as clearing house for all HIV commodities and Human Resources capacity at the store is inadequate.”

Also, on the issue of ineffective inventory management and distribution of commodities from the Federal Medical Store, to health facilities, he said: “Beyond on-going financial support to Federal Medical Store, NACA will assign two logicians to support management of HIV commodities from the Global Fund.

Regarding the inadequate control of procurement processes through procurement agent, he said: “This is noted and all outstanding records have been reconciled and cleared with OIG.”

On the issue of poor quality of reported data owing to ineffective data collection and reporting system, Idoko noted that “Despite improvements at national level, inadequate capacity and demotivation of staff at facility level remain a huge challenge. As a stop-gap measure, NACA will support data entry clerks at facilities. NACA will introduce Electronic Medical Record, EMR in Global Fund-supported secondary facilities to improve overall data quality.

Last week, the Global Fund, a health-financing institution which supports countries to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, said it had suspended disbursement of funds following an audit report that unveiled fraud and significant weaknesses in the nation’s health system.