Global Fund pledges support for Nigeria despite past mismanagement


International health donor agency, Global Fund, has pledged to continue to support Nigeria with funds, drugs, research and strategies development in the fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

This was disclosed on Friday through a press statement by the Federal Ministry of Health in Abuja.

Global Fund, which has been offering support to Nigeria over the years, restated its commitment against the backdrop of some international agencies withdrawing similar support to the country citing massive corruption and diversion of funds.

The infractions were reportedly perpetrated before the present administration of the Nigerian health sector and are being investigated.

The Executive Director of Global Fund, Mark Dybul, however, said at the ongoing World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, that the agency did not reduce its allocation to Nigeria because of the forthrightness and honesty being exhibited by Health Minister, Isaac Adewole.

“Because of your leadership and appeal, we did not reduce the allocation to Nigeria. You have been honest. As a result of your honesty, when I leave the Assembly, I will be working on several projects across Africa, please let me know how I can be of help to you in Nigeria,” he said.

The minister, who had earlier spoken on behalf of his colleagues from Africa, had presented the Nigeria Universal Health Coverage Agenda to the General Assembly attended by delegates from over 200 countries, including the outgoing Director-General of WHO, Magaret Chan.

Mr. Adewole also coordinated the meeting of the Commonwealth Health Ministers of the African region to articulate the continent`s agenda where he rolled out the plans and efforts of his ministry in tackling the menace of cervical cancer which includes free screening for breast and cervical cancer, as well as for prostate cancer in men above 50 years of age.

The minister said over 17,000 screenings were carried out in 2016 and that with the passage of the 2017 budget, close to 200,000 Nigerians will continue to benefit from the free screenings.

He also urged global partners to send more funds and investment in terms of research, drugs and treatment should to Nigeria.

The 70th World Health Assembly started on May 22 and is scheduled to close on the last day of this month.

The minister is attending the meeting alongside Faisal Shuaib, who is the head of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, and the National Coordinator of the National Malaria Elimination Programme, NMEP.