…to receive $21.9m to boost COVID-19 testing capacity
The Federal Government has received grant worth $890 million from Global Fund (GF), to combat malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS for a period of three years – 2021 to 2023.
Also, an additional $21.9 million has been approved to support Nigeria’s COVID-19 response, with specific target on procurement of GeneXpert machine and other molecular laboratory equipment that would further boost COVID-19 testing of about one million Nigerians over the next 12 months.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who made this known yesterday in Abuja, noted that the grant was the largest made to any country in the funding cycle, and was sequel to a successful funding request made by the Nigeria Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM)
According to him, the CCM, Country Nigeria, the official platform through which The Global Fund relates with Fund recipient countries, was established in March 2002, as the recognized entity with the mandate to receive Global Fund grants on behalf of Nigeria.
Ehanire, who disclosed that Nigeria ranks among the largest recipients of Global Fund investments in the world, said since its inception in 2002, the Global Fund has committed $2,585,537,824 to operations in Nigeria, split into four programme areas; HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, Malaria, and Resilient Systems Strengthening for Health (RSSH).
While stating that Nigeria as at today accessed $2,436,371,946, representing 94% of the committed amount, he explained that the Global Fund raises and invests nearly $4 billion a year to support programmes in countries and communities that are most in need.
His words: “The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has approved the sum of $890 million to support Nigeria’s HIV, TB, Malaria and Health Systems Strengthening Programmes.
“With this amount, Nigeria’s grant is reportedly the single highest allocation to any country and a demonstration of The Global Fund’s confidence in the administration and programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari and in his pledge to make the most judicious use of the resources for the improvement of health outcomes for Nigerians, especially the poor and vulnerable.
“This grant will complement the investment of the government of Nigeria and of other development partners in HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria programmes, including the Resilient and Sustainable System for Health, over the period 2021-2023. The approval of this grant came following the review of the proposal that CCM Nigeria submitted on 23rd March 2020, which was adjudged to be technically sound and strategically focused by the independent Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund.
“This grant will support access to malaria prevention, diagnostic and treatment services in 13 states. The states include Adamawa, Delta, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kwara, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Taraba and Yobe states;
“It will also support access to HIV/AIDS and TB services across all 36 states and the FCT; improvements in our health system, particularly, provision of infrastructure for warehousing and distribution of health commodities, laboratory services, data management and capacity building for our healthcare providers, including support to community systems.
“The implementation of this grant will specially target the poor, the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, and those at higher risk of the target diseases, to promote equity in access to health care services. The grant will contribute to President Buhari’s Next Level Agenda for Health, and our progress towards Universal Health Coverage.”
The minister further disclosed that the Global Fund has given approval to repurpose $6.2 million out of Nigeria’s on-going grants for HIV, TB and malaria, to support the COVID-19 response.
“This is to support rapid expansion of Nigeria’s diagnostics capacity for COVID-19 through decentralization of testing to all 36 states and FCT, using existing TB diagnostic instrument – the GeneXpert Machine and the procurement of Biosafety Cabinets for the GeneXpert Laboratories to be able to conduct COVID-19 tests, without exposing the laboratory scientists to risk of infection mass campaign of test kits and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline health workers,” he said.