Government resumes receiving money from Global Fund
The Zambia government has
won funding of about US $300 million under Round 10 of Global Fund.
is after the government returned part of the money and pledged to pay the rest
of over K9.1 billion that was mismanaged by principal recipients of the funds mainly meant for the fight against HIV/AIDS, Malaria
Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr Peter Mwaba
confirmed in an interview that the Global Fund, spearheaded by USAID, had also started releasing
funds that government qualified for under round 8 after it pledged to pay back
the mismanaged funds.
"I can tell you that we won round 8 which was part
of the Global Fund but they were not releasing it. They are giving it now. Then
there is round 10 worth US $300 million which was very competitive and the last
Dr Mwaba said that his ministry was working towards ensuring
accountability for Global Fund in order to accrue its full
"We just want to ensure that there is accountability because
the bottom line is we can win those funds but if we do not have robust systems,
the funds will not go anywhere," he said.
Dr Mwaba justified the
re-imbursement of misappropriated funds saying Zambia would not have received
the other sets of funding if this was not done.
"If you look at Global
Fund and how much money we get from it, the money is over US$600 million without
interest, now because of what happened, they asked us to return the funds as a
condition to receive another round while we are investigating the matter," said
The government has refunded K9.1 billion to Global Fund as part
of the money that was misappropriated by the Ministry
Meanwhile, Dr Mwaba said that the nine mobile hospitals
had begun operations with only Northern, Western and Eastern provinces where the
services are yet to be launched.
"The Lusaka one has now gone to Chiyawa.
The whole sets will be assembled today (Friday) and they would be there to
operate for a week. The Copperbelt one is in Mpongwe. They are operating. The
North Western Province one is still at the provincial health centres," said Dr
He also confirmed that the hospital unit meant for Eastern
Province was on its way to Chadiza awaiting its launch.
He also disclosed
that negotiations with USA's EXIM Bank were on course to get another four
hospitals into the country.
"The American ones will be accompanied by
ambulances. So the mobile hospitals are not only a concept arising from China.
In fact it's the Americans who started mobile hospitals," said Dr
He disclosed that the Treasury had to this effect sanctioned the
deployment of over 300 medical personnel that will operate in both the mobile
and static health centres.
Dr Mwaba said mobile health service would be
treated as an outreach programme such as Flying Doctor Service which were
sharing personnel with static health institutions.
"Right now as I am
talking to you, the director of this hospital (Luckson Kasonka) is in Mongu
operating on women with fistula because that is his specialty. So this movement
of staff is normal. There is no one permanently deployed in a car," said Dr
"Zambia Army goes to the border (Flying Doctor), do you know how
much they spend? Healthcare is expensive. So we don't expect the mobile
hospitals to be cheap."
And Dr Mwaba also expressed satisfaction with
renovations going on at UTH's G-Block and construction of conference