Buhari demands periodic performance reports on $890m health grant

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Health to ensure effective utilisation of Global Fund’s generous provision of 890 million dollars, over the next three years.

The president issued the directive at the virtual inauguration of the 890 million dollars grant, for the period of 2021-2023, which would also support the establishment of resilient and sustainable systems for health in the country.

The president, who assured donor agencies and development partners of judicious use of the grant, said the funding would complement investments in the health sector, help curb new infections, and reduce HIV-AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria-related morbidity and mortality.

The president also applauded the Global Fund for their contribution of the sum of 51 million dollars during the early stages of Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), test kits and scale-up diagnostic capacity.

While commending the work of Nigeria’s Country Coordinating Mechanism, under the leadership of the Minister of Health, Buhari reaffirmed Nigeria’s commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, by 2030.

He pledged that his administration would continue to work with fellow Heads of State and Governments across the continent to ensure sustained high-level political engagement to achieve the SDG goals.

The president recounted that the strong partnership between the Government and people of Nigeria and Global Fund, dating back to 2002, had contributed immensely to saving lives, especially of women and children.

He noted that over the last two decades, joint efforts with the Global Fund, the United States Government, the United Nations and other Development Partners, had succeeded in bringing about a significant reduction in new infections, morbidity and mortality from HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
He attributed the improvements to the effective alignment of our various national investments, using the most recent evidence to inform policies, strategies and plans.

On Nigeria’s contribution to the Fund, the president announced that he approved 12 million dollars to the last Global Fund Replenishment held in Lyon, France, representing a 20 per cent increase on the country’s immediate previous contribution.

Speaking in his capacity as the Chair of the Country Coordinating Mechanism of the Global Fund programmes in Nigeria, Osagie Ehanire, who is also the Minister of Health, said Nigeria recently signed eight grants amounting to 890 million dollars to support HIV, TB and Malaria programmes, and build resilient and sustainable systems for health.

While giving an overview of the grant, he said two of them are for HIV management, amounting to 310 million dollars, and would be administered by two principal recipients namely the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and Family Health International.

According to the minister, 180 million dollars of the 310 million was earmarked for the procurement of antiretroviral medicines, which will maintain 1.4 million Nigerians living with HIV on lifesaving antiretroviral treatment.

The minister explained that three of the grants, amounting to 153 million dollars, are for TB, to be administered by three principal recipients including the National TB and Leprosy Control Programme, the Institute for Human Virology in Nigeria and the Lagos State Ministry of Health.

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