Thought Leadership

Nigeria and the Global Fund

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We have previously blogged on the The Global Fund; one of Kofi Annan biggest legacies as Secretary General of the UN. It was created to finance the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Of the US$9.9 billion committed worldwide, US$400,000,000 has been approved for projects in Nigeria.

Many will remember in 2006 when the Global Fund threatend to suspend the funding of projects in Nigeria because the country failed to meet targets on drug access and “transparency”.

“TRANSPARENCY” is a really difficult concept in Nigeria. Virtually all government information in Nigeria is classified as top secret and covered in a veil of secrecy. Since 1999 our legislature has used every opportunity to reject the Freedom of Information Bill.

It is within this context of secretiveness that Ill introduce you to the website of the Global Fund as it relates to Nigeria. You can find all the details of funding for individual projects here. For instance we can tell you that in the last GRANT round: The Christian Association of Nigeria was given N25M to scale of TB treatment.

The Program will increase access to Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) facilities and improve the quality of care for TB patients, with targets of 70% case detection rate and 85% treatment success rate by 2010. The expected outcome is that DOTS services will be available to the entire population of Nigeria in an equitable manner. It is expected the Program will enable the detection of 70’000 new TB cases annually and curing approximately 60’000 of those cases. You will find such clear health outcomes in most Global Fund projects.

Who is driving this? You can find out the members of the Country Controlling Mechanism here.
Country Coordinating Mechanisms are unique to the Global Fund and includes representatives from both the public and private sectors, including governments, multilateral or bilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, private businesses and people living with the diseases. You will not find detailed information as this on any other site realted to health in Nigeria. You could try the website of The National Agency for the Control of AIDS, or your can try the National Food and Drug Administration Agency. Sadly you cannot look at the site of the Ministry of Health ….because there is none

Transparency in its funding is a great aspect of the GF, we wonder how much extra it would cost to set up a website locally to make public the operations and fund-disbursement at country level thereby giving GF funded projects some publicity. That would indeed complete the chain….

The Global Fund even has an NGO supporting its activities…

Friends Africa (Friends of the Global Fund Africa) is a Pan-African organization which works to mobilize strategic political and financial support for the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria through education, multisectoral advocacy and documentation.

So….some good things are happening in health and health care in Nigeria. All we need now is visionary leadership to take it forward. Maybe the MoH can borrow some from the GF?…

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

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