Uganda is to receive funds from Global Fund to scale up fight against TB, Aids and malaria.
By Moses Walubiri
The global fight against Aids, Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria has received a major boost of $1.6b in investment funds to projects aimed at saving lives for the period 2012 -14.
The financial forecast was made in a communiqué by the Global Fund board in Geneva Switzerland last week.
Global fund has $616m in running programs – commonly known as transitional funding mechanism - in different countries, besides an estimated $7b in approved grants that are due for disbursement over the next 18 months.
Global Fund lauded the new cash inflow as a major milestone in the struggle to not only scale down on new infections but reduce the number of people succumbing to Aids, TB, and malaria globally.
“It means we can now help fund new projects that are designed to meet the most pressing need for service,” chairman Board of the Global Fund, Gabriel Jaramilo said.
According to the coordinator for Global Fund in Ministry of Health and Finance, Dr. Jim Arinaitwe, the fund is bankrolling the national TB control program, national malaria control program, and national Aids program.
Dr. Arinaitwe expects the Global Fund Secretariat to call for project proposals that require funding in early September this year.
The fund is a unique private-public partnership and international financing institution tailored to attracting and disbursing additional resources to prevent Aids, TB and malaria.
Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the main financier of programs to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, with approved funding of US$ 22.6 billion for more than 1,000 programs in 150 countries.
To date, programs supported by the Global Fund have provided AIDS treatment for 3.3 million people, anti-tuberculosis treatment for 8.6 million people and 230 million insecticide-treated nets for the prevention of malaria.
The Global Fund works in close collaboration with other bilateral and multilateral organizations to supplement existing efforts in dealing with the three diseases.
In 2005, the Fund tentatively suspended its operations in Uganda after it got wind of serious mismanagement of funds in the Project Management Unit under Ministry of Health.
The subsequent investigations sucked in the then Minister of Health, Jim Muhwezi, and his two deputies Mike Mukula and Dr. Alex Kamugisha.
Others included former Director of the Project Management Unit Tiberius Muhebwa and the Director of Economic Monitoring in the Internal Security Organization, Teddy Ssezi Cheeye. Cheye is serving a 14 year jail term in Luzira over misappropriation of Global Fund.
The investigations were carried out by a commission of inquiry headed by Justice James Ogola.
Uganda gets $1.6b from Global Fund