FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

Gambia CCM Secures 40 Million Dollars for HIV/Aids, TB and Malaria

The Gambia country coordinating mechanism (CCM) organised a-day consultative meeting with the global fund at the paradise suites hotel on Thursday 14 February 2013.

The Gambia CCM has been constituted primarily as multi-disciplinary inter-sectoral team, which provides oversight for the management and implementation of the Global Fund grants on malaria,

tuberculosis and HIV and Aids since 2003. Accordingly, the Gambia CCM is committed to support programs, among others that reflect national ownership and respect country led formation and implementation processes; focus on the creation, development and expansion of partnerships, and also strengthen the participation of communities and people, particularly those affected by the three diseases among others, say THE CCM Leaflet.

The Minister of Health and Social Welfare Hon. Bala Garba Jahumpa said, the purpose of the Global Fund is to attract, manage and disburse additional resources through a new public-private partnership that would make a sustainable and significant contribution to the reduction of infections, illness and health-thereby mitigating the impact caused by HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Adding that the Global Fund recognises that only through a country-driven, coordinated and multi-sector approach involving all relevant partners would additional resources have a significant impact on the reduction of infections.

However to achieve this, the Global Fund expects grant proposals to be coordinated among a broad range of stakeholders, each with unique skills, background and experience through a country CCM that will monitor the implementation of approved proposals. Hon Jahumpa said it is important to note that the CCM facilitates and coordinates the development of all funding applications through transparent and documented processes that engage a broad range of stakeholders. He therefore urges the CCM and all key players to continue to mobilize resources from partners to sustain gains made over the years.

The CCM Chairperson and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and Social Welfare Mr. Mod AK Secka also disclosed that this is the first CCM Forum organised by the Gambia Country Coordinating Mechanism. He said the purpose of this forum is to enlighten the general public as well as the stakeholders on the operation of the CCM and Global Fund at large.

Adding that the CCMs globally constitute the recognised arm of the Global Fund architecture created to develop proposals for Global Fund's funding on behalf of a country and this according to him cannot function effectively in the absence of a secretariat under the leadership of an executive secretary and the chairperson. PS Secka emphases that the success of the Global Fund grant in the Gambia relies on a strong and well functional CCM with technical guidance of a collaboration with multi sectoral partners including government, civil society organisations, faith based organisations, academic and research institutions, private and people living with the diseases or their representatives.

Meanwhile, PS further noted that currently the Global Fund is undergoing a critical resources challenge in its history and therefore CCM needs to show greater commitment today than ever to secure the needed funding to continue the good work. For the period under review the CCM has succeeded in securing funding for the three grants HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria to the tune of 40 million USD to implement in the next three years. He reveals that out of the ten (10) West African countries the Gambia is the only country that have received disbursement to all the six principal recipients. He also asserted that in addition to annual audit of these grants the Global Fund conducted a diagnostic review of their grants last year and there was no adverse findings.

However he said since the inception of Global Fund Round 3 in 2004, there has been a continuous decline in the incidence of malaria in the Gambia. He said that was reported in studies conducted by the ministry of health and social welfare (MOH), and Medical Research Council (MRC) 2008, 2010. Adding that in the same vein there has been considerable change in the epidemiological situation of tuberculosis in the Gambia for the past years in relation to tuberculosis case detection. He said that the reported prevalence of all forms of TB has been increasing significantly since 2006. Similarly, he said, the number of new sputum smear-positive cases has significantly surged since 2006. He said, 90% of the detected smear-positive TB cases have been successfully treated as a result of the huge support provided by the Global Fund.

Mr. Secka added that the most recent National Sentined surveillance (NSS) study conducted among 6120 antenatal women in 12 health facilities (3) hospitals and 9 health centres) in 2011, the prevalence of HIV1 is estimated at 1.65% and HIV2 0.07%. He said over the years the prevalence within the antenatal women has been fluctuating from 1.4% for HIV1 in 2002 and peaking at 2.8% in 2006 and showing sustained decline for the subsequent years 2007, 2008 and 2011. He noted that due to improved capacity and availability of treatment, survival rate amongst HIV on treatment remains high (82%).

Mr Secka then added that at the global level, the general awareness and commitment to combating the HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria pandemic has resulted in the creation of the Global Fund (GFATM) through which the Gambia country coordinating mechanism (CCM) has received two rounds of support, and prior to that the government has received US$ 15 million through the HIV/AIDS Rapid Response Project (HARP). He said as it stands now the GRATM is the single largest development partner providing support to the national responses, contributing over 90% of financial resources.

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