Global Fund bankrolls Gambia’s HIV/AIDS crusade
The fund was given by Global Fund through the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), overall guiding body for the use of Global Fund resources in the country.
This was disclosed by Mod A. K Secka, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs on Thursday during the CCM annual forum held at the at one of the local hotels in Banjul.
The purpose of the forum was to enlighten the stakeholders on the operations of the CCM and the Global Fund at large.
Mr Secka pointed out that the three diseases – HIV/Aids, TB and Malaria – that the country received grants to combat, are the greatest threat to the security and development of the world, and a big obstacle to the attainment of many of the globally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“Without accelerated efforts to prevent the spread of TB, HIV/Aids and Malaria, they will continue to roll back progress and hard won gains and intensify poverty and human suffering in Africa and the world at large,” Mr Secka, who is also the chairperson of CCM, noted.
In The Gambia, studies have shown that Malaria is on the decline while TB is increasing.
Mr Secka said since the inception of the Global Fund Round 3 in 2004, studies have shown that there has been a continuous decline in the incidence of Malaria in The Gambia.
On the contrary, studies revealed that the prevalence of TB in the country is increasing since 2006. However, Mr Secka asserted that 90 percent of all detected TB cases have been successfully treated as a result of the huge support provided by the Global Fund.
He said at global level, the general awareness and commitment of combating the HIV/Aids, TB and Malaria pandemic has resulted in the creation of the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and Malaria (GFATM) through which The Gambia CCM has received two rounds of financial support.
The purpose of the Global Fund is to attract, manage and disburse additional resources through a new public-private partnership that will make a sustainable and significant contribution to the reduction of infections, illnesses and deaths, thereby mitigating the impact caused by HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Mr Secka pointed out that as it stands now GFATM is the single largest development partner providing support to The Gambia national responses, contributing over 90 percent of financial resources.
For Madam Matilda Buoy, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Global Fund recognizes that only through a country-driven, coordinated and multi-sector approach involving all relevant partners will additional resources have a significant impact on the reduction of infections, illness and death from the three diseases.
She added: “Thus, a variety of actors must be involved in the development of proposal and decisions on the allocation and utilization of Global Fund financial resources. To achieve this, the Global Fund expects grant proposals to be coordinated among a broad range of stakeholders, each with unique skills background and experience through the CCM, and that the CCM will monitor the implementation of approved proposals.”
She said The Gambia government is committed to sustaining what the Global Fund has started in eradicating the three diseases.
The United States Ambassador to The Gambia, Edward Alford, assured of his country’s support in the drive to eradicate HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, among others diseases affecting Gambians.