7 April 2014
Shawn Clackett

Partners in Eastern and Southern Africa Look at Investment Framework

Global Fund News Flash: 07 April 2014

Photo from Unicef.org

Prof. Sheila Tlou, Director of UNAIDS Regional Support Team in East and Southern Africa

WINDHOEK, Namibia Partners from countries in Eastern and Southern Africa opened a four-day meeting in the Namibian capital this week to examine how to make investments achieve the greatest possible impact in partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

More than 150 people – from governments, civil society, technical partners in 12 countries – came together to discuss the Global Fund’s new funding model and to look at how to optimize use of all available funding. Encouraging each country to prioritize investments and coordinate them with national plans and strategies for health is a central theme of the new funding model.

Dr. Richard Kamwi, Namibia’s Minister of Health and Social Services, opened the meeting by asking participants to champion an increase in domestic investments in health, which he said would strengthen partnerships and safeguard the gains of the past 10 years.

“Speak to your governments,” said Dr. Kamwi. “Unless we sustain these gains, the progress we have made will have been futile.”

In the spirit of partnership, Dr. Kamwi announced that his country’s cabinet had authorized a donation of US$1 million to the Global Fund.

The new funding model was designed to more fully deliver on the promise of partnership that created the Global Fund in 2002. That includes strong country ownership, increased domestic spending on health and a focus on human rights.

Prof. Sheila Tlou, Director of  UNAIDS  Regional Support Team in East and Southern Africa, told the meeting that the region should use the new funding model to ensure that marginalized people not only get prevention and treatment but are also involved in decision-making.

“We need to ensure that key populations are involved in the formulation and implementation of programs under the new funding model,” she said. “We need to ensure that no one is left behind.”

Cynthia Mwase, the Regional Manager of Southern and Eastern Africa at the Global Fund, said that the new funding model integrates human rights and partnership into new grants, and also provides a strategic roadmap on how the region can remove the three diseases as threats to public health. She said the meeting was organized to help Global Fund partners in the region to prepare to attain impact through the US$1.7 billion now available for the funding period.

For more information, please contact:
Ernest Waititu

31 March 2014
Shawn Clackett

Kenya Aims to Reduce Malaria Mortality by Two Thirds by 2017

Global Fund News Release – 31 March 2014

Photo from http://www.theguardian.com/journalismcompetition/gsk-malaria

NAIROBI, Kenya – The Global Fund, the Government of Kenya, and the African Medical and Research Foundation today signed a grant agreement worth US$80 million that will support Kenya’s continuing fight against malaria.

By maintaining universal coverage with Long-Lasting Insecticide Nets (LLIN), and the provision of quality assured treatment for malaria (ACTs), Kenya expects to reduce malaria mortality by two-thirds by 2017.

“We welcome this funding that is supporting our objective to achieve universal nets ownership in Kenya and availability of diagnostic and treatments for malaria,” said James Macharia, Cabinet Secretary for Health. “These Global Fund grants are focused on scaling up interventions for impact through the procurement and distribution of 7.7 million LLINs in 23 counties.”

The emphasis of targeting for impact is consistent with the new funding model of the Global Fund. This grant aims to bring together the provision of effective medicines and diagnostics to public and faith-based health facilities with quality control for both medicines and diagnostics. In addition it will also continue to support behavior change communication (BCC) and program monitoring and evaluation.

“Since the start, grant implementation in Kenya has contributed to significant gains in malaria control,” said Linden Morrison, Head of High Impact Africa II Department at the Global Fund. “We are encouraged by Kenya’s work and its proposal that aims to sustain the scale-up of its efforts and consolidation of its current gains.”

The programs will be implemented by the National Treasury through Kenya’s Ministry of Health and the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF).

The work of the two actors complement each other with the National Treasury undertaking treatment and prevention at facility level, plus vector control measures such as LLIN and IRS.

AMREF is implementing the community case management of malaria, conducting training and undertaking BCC activities. The organization will be supporting over 700 Community Units, more than 7,000 Community Health Workers and 21 Civil Society Organizations.

“With this support, we will be able to reach out to vulnerable communities who have poor access to services,” said Dr. Teguest Guerma, Director General of AMREF. “Community involvement in this fight is very critical. We appreciate the support of the Global Fund, the Government of Kenya and the communities we work with, to strengthen our commitment for a lasting health change in Africa.”

AMREF is a health African Non-Governmental Organisation that implements programmes through communities and in partnership with host governments and Civil Society actors. Through AMREF’s work, Kenya is able to sustain the gains made in reaching vulnerable populations with quality diagnosis, treatment and prevention services.

Kenya has a population of 38 million people. The Malaria Control Program of Kenya estimates that 70 percent of the Kenyan population is at risk of malaria and 66 percent (two thirds of the population) is at risk of malaria in endemic, highland epidemic prone and seasonal transmission areas. The estimated number of malaria cases reported in 2010 was 3.5 million and parasite prevalence among children under five years was 8 percent.

Kenya has reported a decline by up to 44 percent in under-five mortality in sentinel districts, attributed to LLIN use. Inpatient malaria mortality indicated a 47 percent decline between 2000 and 2010.

 

For more information please contact:

The Global Fund
Marcela Rojo

26 March 2014
Shawn Clackett

What’s Behind this Photo?

Global Fund News Flash: Issue 40

Photographer John Rae
John Rae is a documentary and commercial photographer who has worked with the Global Fund since 2002 and delivered some of our most memorable images. Over the years, John has visited over 45 countries to document efforts to defeat AIDS, TB and malaria. This is the second in a series of memorable photos that John is telling us about:

In November 2007, I went to “the hills” of western Nepal – 4,500 meter rock walls that anywhere else in the world would be called mountains. A dangerous road got me to a small town called Silgadhi, where I saw a support group called People Living with AIDS. Its leader is Tara BK. She is my hero.

Tara is a short woman with bright eyes and a quick smile that belies the trials she has been through. She belongs to a low caste called the Bisokarma. That means if Tara goes to a restaurant she has to wash her own dishes when she has finished eating. It means she is not allowed to sell milk, and people in higher castes fear that buying milk from her will make the cow will climb up a tree. The caste system must still be going strong in rural Nepal. I have never seen any cows in trees.

Tara told me that she got married six years ago. Shortly afterward, her husband left in search of work in India and did not return for five years. She was tired of waiting and decided to join her husband in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. That was unusual for a woman in Nepal, but Tara was determined to be with her husband. Nine months later Tara gave birth to a healthy son. That same week, her husband began shivering and was running a high fever. He was diagnosed with AIDS. The local hospital was ill-equipped to treat him, and recommended he go to the “big hospital” in Hyderabad. But her husband’s health quickly deteriorated and he died just a week after the test.

Two days later, Tara began the long journey back to Silgadhi with her newborn son. Not long after her return, Tara began to feel weak. She was breathless and broke into a fever and began to shiver. Salibaan, a man from her village who worked at the local health clinic approached her and she confided in him that she feared she may have “desi rog.” Salibaan, who had received HIV/AIDS training told her that the clinic had a program for testing, counselling and medication.

Fearing for her baby, Tara took the test for HIV. It came back positive. She was devastated. She was warned not to breastfeed her baby. But without an income and unable to work, and with a hungry baby to feed, she saw no choice and reluctantly began to breastfeed her child. Within months her son died.

Soon after, Tara revisited the health clinic and received free antiretroviral medication and counselling. Staff asked if she would be willing to “come out” about the results. After losing her husband and her son to the disease, she did not care what others thought about her status. If “coming out” would help others, she thought, there was no reason to hesitate. She was the first in her area to acknowledge her status publically and realized she could use her sorrow and experience to help others. She joined the local People Living with HIV/AIDS support group and was elected president. She began receiving a monthly salary of 3,000 Rupees (about US$30.) It enabled her to slowly repay the loan for her marriage, and the medical and cremation expenses for her son. Her mission now is simple: to prevent new infections and support people suffering from HIV and AIDS.

Tara’s life is not easy. She lives with her mother-in-law in a small mud hut. She is HIV-positive. She faces discrimination, as a lower caste, and is also stigmatized for her HIV status. Despite it all, Tara still walks 15-25 kilometers a day through the “hills” to help patients living with HIV and AIDS. Tara is my hero.

26 March 2014
Shawn Clackett

Mozambique Aims to Reach Universal Malaria Protection in 2014

Global Fund News Release – 26 March 2014

Logos

MAPUTO, Mozambique – The Ministry of Health of Mozambique, together with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, World Vision and BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities today announced a partnership to ensure that every family in Mozambique will be protected from malaria by the end of this year’s campaign.

Working towards this goal, the Ministry of Health and World Vision-Mozambique , a Christian relief and development organization, have signed grants for US$85 million with the Global Fund to support malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment for the next three years. BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, a registered charity established by the company, has contributed US$10 million to the Global Fund to support these grants.

“Our country is committed to winning the fight against malaria,” said Francisco Mbofana  National Director Of Public Health of Mozambique. “We are looking forward to our net distribution campaign starting in July to reach universal coverage for malaria prevention,” he added.

The grants will fund distribution of long lasting insecticide-treated nets, indoor residual spraying (IRS) in areas not covered by these nets, training of health workers in the diagnosis and treatment of malaria, and community sensitization and mobilization. Partnership development within communities and with civil society will also be supported.

“The Global Fund is very pleased to continue to work in Mozambique to provide access to diagnosis and treatment through the national health system,” said Kirsi Viisainen, Senior Portfolio Manager for Mozambique at the Global Fund. “Mozambique is a good example of collaboration between government, civil society and the private sector in funding and implementing a national, concerted response against malaria, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of this partnership.”

World Vision-Mozambique has hailed this “potentially life-saving development in a country where malaria is the leading cause of death of children in Mozambique.” Graham Strong, the child-focused organization’s National Director, added: “this effort is proof of the common resolve of civil society, government and the private sector to work alongside communities in stopping this on-going tragedy.”

Ian Wood, Chair, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities, said: “BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities is delighted to have contributed US$10 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.”

“This brings BHP Billiton’s commitment to Mozambique close to $30 million over five years.  In addition to the Global Fund contribution, we are supporting maternal and child health, improved access to clean water and sanitation, and sustainable livelihoods through the support of small scale farmers.”

BHP Billiton is a leading global resources company, and the major shareholder of Mozal Aluminium smelter in Boane, Mozambique.

Malaria is considered the most important public health challenge in Mozambique. Decreasing transmission of the mosquito-borne disease in Mozambique is an important goal for the country and its neighbors, as Mozambique is the only hyper endemic country in the region.

For more information please contact:

The Global Fund
Marcela Rojo

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