Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The federal government has received $890 million as grants from the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said yesterday that the fund would be used to implement programmes aimed at eradicating the diseases over a three year period, from 2021 to 2023.
Ehanire said that the Global Fund also approved a grant of US$21.9 million to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 response.
He said: “The purpose of this press briefing today is to announce the receipt of a grant, made to the Federal Republic of Nigeria by The Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, amounting to $890 million, over an implementation period of three years, beginning from 2021 to 2023.”
The minister noted that the grant, which is the largest given to any country in this funding cycle, is sequel to a successful funding request made by the Nigeria Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM).
The Global Fund for the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GF) is an innovative international financing mechanism that was established by the United Nations in 2002, with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
The fund is made up of global partnership of governments, civil societies and private donors and established for the purpose of attracting, leveraging and investing resources to fund public health interventions that would accelerate the eradication of HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in affected high burden countries to further goals of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Global Fund has committed the sum of USD$2.586 billion since 2002 to operations in Nigeria, which are split into four program areas: HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and the Resilient Systems Strengthening for Health, (RSSH).
Nigeria has accessed $2.436 billion, which represented 94 percent of the committed amount.
The minister said the grant would complement the investment of the government of Nigeria and of other Development Partners in HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria programmes, including the Resilient and Sustainable System for Health, over the period 2021-2023.
He said the approval of the grant came following the review of the proposal that the CCM Nigeria submitted on March 23, 2020, which was adjudged to be technically sound and strategically focused by the independent Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund.
Ehanire said: “This grant will support access to malaria prevention, diagnostic and treatment services in 13 states. The States include Adamawa, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Taraba and Yobe States.
“Access to HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis services across all the 36 states and the FCT; Improvements in our health system, particularly, provision of infrastructure for warehousing and distribution of health commodities, laboratory services, data management and capacity building for our healthcare providers, including support to community system.”
The minister said the implementation of the grant would specially target the poor, the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, and those at higher risk of the target diseases, to promote equity in access to health care services.
He further said: “With regard to Nigeria’s COVID-19 response effort, The Global Fund gave approval to repurpose the sum of US$6.2 million out of our on-going grants for HIV, tuberculosis and malaria to support the implementation of our initial Incident Action Plan (IAP) for COVID-19.