Lady Roslyn Morauta, Chairperson of the Papua New Guinea Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) for the Global Fund, said today that she was delighted that the Global Fund had continued its support to health programs in Papua New Guinea by signing three new grant agreements worth US$50 million to the end of 2017 for Malaria, Tuberculosis and Health System Strengthening.
Since 2004, the Global Fund has approved grants for Papua New Guinea worth US$187 million. In addition to this, a total of US$83 million has been approved by the Global Fund for Papua New Guinea for 2014-2017.
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund said: "Today we are coming together in solidarity to support the people of Papua New Guinea as they build a healthier future."
At the grant signing ceremony held at the National Department of Health, Lady Morauta thanked Dr Mark Dybul, the Executive Director of the Global Fund, and representatives of donors to the Global Fund. The financial resources provided through the Global Fund come from many donors, represented in Port Moresby today by the Australian High Commissioner, and the Ambassadors of the United States and the European Union.
She also thanked the Minister for Health, Hon Michael Malabag and Health Secretary Pascoe Kase for working closely with the CCM to meet grant conditions and to finalise the grant proposals to the Global Fund.
The CCM is a multi-stakeholder body, including representatives from the Government, the private sector, churches, NGOs, academic institutions, multilateral and bilateral agencies, and people living with the diseases targeted by the Global Fund (HIV, TB and Malaria). The CCM develops and submits grant proposals to the Global Fund based on the priority needs of the disease strategies of the National Department of Health. After grant approval, the CCM oversees progress during the implementation, so it plays a key role in oversight of the grants. Drawdown of funds is based on performance.
The Implementers/Principal Recipients for the new grants are Rotarians Against Malaria and Population Services International for Malaria, and World Vision for TB. The TB grant also has an over-arching Health System Strengthening component.
“The key to success of these grants is not just the commitment and hard work of the Principal Recipients, but a close working relationship with the National and Provincial Health Departments and District Authorities, who in fact carry out a large bulk of the activities funded by the grants,” Lady Morauta said.
The CCM Chair noted that the Government’s investment in Global Fund supported programs was significant. For the period 2012-2014 the government contribution to the programs totalled US$62 million. This is expected to increase by 78% during 2015-2017, with an indicative budgeted amount of US$110 million.
“The CCM is proud that the PNG Government’s commitment to these programs is strong. This is an important achievement. The initial Global Fund programs in PNG were almost entirely funded by the Global Fund, which caused problems when the grants ended. The close of the first HIV grant, for example, left many gaps in government and church HIV services, and also for patients. The sustainability of these programs is critical. The Government now recognises the importance of continuity, and is making a substantial co-financing contribution.”
Lady Roslyn also paid tribute to the Australian Government, the World Health Organisation and UNAIDS for the on-going technical and financial support they provided to the CCM.
The grant agreements were signed by Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund, Gabriele Ganci, Country Director of Population Services International, Ron Seddon, Chairman of Rotarians Against Malaria, Tim Costello, CEO of World Vision Australia, Curt Von Boguslawski, Country Director for World Vision, Roslyn Morauta as Chair of the PNG CCM and Heni Meke, representing civil society organisations on the CCM.
The two malaria grants, worth a combined total of US$32 million, will be used to fund purchase and distribution of 2.8 million mosquito nets and training of community health workers. The grants will also support prompt diagnosis of malaria, strengthen monitoring and improve access to care for the country’s most disadvantaged communities.
The other US$18 million grant, to be administered by the international and Australian divisions of World Vision, aims to reduce the incidence and prevalence of tuberculosis in PNG. The grant will be used to improve the recruitment and retention of clinical staff. It will also strengthen the systems needed to enable access to quality drugs and laboratory diagnostics for HIV, TB and Malaria, helping to build a stronger health system as a whole.
Lady Morauta said that, thanks to previous funding from the Global Fund and the strategy followed by the National Government, Papua New Guinea had made tremendous progress in its campaign against malaria. According to the World Health Organisation, malaria prevalence has decreased from 12.1 per cent to 1.8 per cent. Key to this success has been an aggressive mosquito net distribution program. Approximately 82 per cent of households now own at least one net.
More cases of tuberculosis are being treated than before and case detection of the disease has risen to 89 per cent in 2013 from 61 per cent in 2010.
“The new grants build on the success of the previous Global Fund grant programs. We look forward to further reduction in the incidence of malaria, and to an acceleration of the campaign against TB, which is now a very serious public health issue in Papua New Guinea,” Lady Morauta said.