The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Global Fund Lauds MoH Financial Control System

The global Fund to fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, commonly known as Global Fund, has hailed government for putting in place effective control measures to ensure maximum utilisation of donor funds allocated to the health sector.

The Inspector General of Global Fund, Martin O'Malley, said the Ministry of Health had shown impressive results in an audit performed by a team from the Fund.

The audit, released Tuesday in Kigali, was done in 43 health centers, three prisons and seven district pharmacies across the country.

It focused on the adequacy and effectiveness of the internal control environment over critical processes, especially on financial arrangements, data collection and reporting as well as the procurement and supply chain.

"We found 28,000 malaria register entries, 750 health workers everyday and 255 audit steps covered in central procurement. We concluded that effective control mechanisms exist in managing HIV, malaria and tuberculosis in Rwanda and that the systems are modern," O'Malley said.

The audit, done in the last two months, sought to assess the strength of Rwanda's systems before it qualifies for direct budget funding from the Global Fund.

"We are happy to evaluate performance on outcome and impact indicators and this is a remarkable shift in thinking and trust," O'Malley said.

He reiterated the Global Fund's resolve to ensure that every dollar given out delivers intended results.

Reviewed cases:

Health minister Agnes Binagwaho said they reviewed more than 25,000 cases of malaria management.

"We have done a great job in fighting corruption and holding people accountable; what we are now focusing on is improving our financial control systems in the ministry," she said.

In February, Rwanda and the Global Fund signed a grant worth $204 million (about Rwf138 billion) for piloting of the new financing approach for HIV programmes, where funding is channelled through the National Budget.

The new model is designed to encourage flexibility and eliminate bottlenecks in the financing of HIV programmes for countries.

"We have done this only in Rwanda so far because of its success in achieving Millennium Development Goals and the ability of its health systems to respond to challenges facing the population in terms of burden of disease and HIV prevalence," O'Malley said.

Dr Binagwaho said: "This new funding mechanism offers a lot of flexibility in terms of budget reallocation in the fight against HIV/Aids and was decided considering past good records reported by the Global Fund on key national systems such as governance, finance control and infrastructural progress," she said.

The next funding, worth $103 million (about Rwf70 billion) for the second phase, will be confirmed depending on audit results reported on agreed HIV indicators, the minister said.

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