By Lydia Kukua Asamoah, GNA
Accra, April 16, GNA – Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on Government and Private entities to develop strategic actions and measures to enable Ghana contribute meaningfully towards the Global Fund.
The Fund was established by governments, CSOs, the private sector and well-meaning individuals to support countries’ effort at fighting HIV and AIDs, Malaria and Tuberculosis (TB), among others.
The Global Fund is said to be needing about $46 billion, to successfully execute its mandate of supporting needy countries.
The issue of the Global Fund came to light during a health stakeholders’ meeting held in Accra on Monday, where CSOs, led by the Hope for Future Generations, a Ghanaian non-governmental organisation, and other international agencies including UNAIDS, discussed the importance of sustaining the Global fund.
Other CSOs such as the TB Voice Network, WAPCAS, Ghana Network of Persons Living with HIV AIDS, Africa Asia-Pacific, Non-State Actors and state institutions, including the Ministry of Health and Ghana Health Service participated in the meeting.
The meeting afforded the platform to discuss issues of domestic resource mobilisation, universal health coverage, and global fund sixth replenishment to ending TB, HIV and Malaria.
Mrs Cecilia Senoo, the Executive Director of Hope for Future Generations, urged African countries, including Ghana, to do well to commit to the Fund through the mobilisation of domestic resources to support its activities.
She asked the CSOs to speak up to influence their governments towards contributing meaningfully to the health care delivery of citizens.
“It was necessary to invite CSOs from South Africa, Zambia, and Rwanda to share ideas on how their countries have been successful in this regard because for me, if one African country succeeds and others fail, then all of Africa has failed,” Mrs Senoo said.
Mr Collins Agyarko-Nti, the Chairman of the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund, said it was necessary that Ghana found ways to be a strategic contributor of the Fund, as it had helped greatly to control diseases like TB, Malaria and HIV in the country.
He said so far, neighbouring Togo, had contributed one million dollars to the Fund, and Ghana which had received over one billion dollars from the Fund for some years could do better to also contribute towards it.
“Through these grants, we have managed to save a lot of lives, so it is now time for us to support the Fund,” he said.
Mr Mark Saalfeld, the Fund Portfolio Manager of High Impact Africa 1, Global Fund, said more contributions were needed to replenish the Fund, as its source of funding was dwindling.
He also advised countries to make good use of the funding they receive from the Global Fund and other funding agencies to control HIV, TB and Malaria as the effect of the funds received was the most important.
Dr Henry N. Nagai, the Chief of Party of the JSI Research and Training Institute, advised CSOs to be strong advocates for the promotion of universal health coverage.
He said health facilities and health problems were now being coded before reimbursement was allocated to them by the National Health Insurance Authority because of inadequate funds.
Madam Nombasa Gxuluwe, a Representative of Waci Health, South Africa, mentioned financial projection from mobilisation of domestic resources, the principle of leaving no one behind, provision of quality healthcare, innovative ways of investing in the citizenry and affordability of services, especially from locally manufactured medical products, as some of the strategies developed by her organization and country, to successfully contribute towards universal health coverage.