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 2011-05-30 02:46 pm Back to NEWS
Government resumes receiving money from Global Fund

The Zambia government has won funding of about US $300 million under Round 10 of Global Fund.

This 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 and TB.


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 round."

Dr Mwaba said that his ministry was working towards ensuring accountability for Global Fund in order to accrue its full benefits.

"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 Dr Mwaba.

The government has refunded K9.1 billion to Global Fund as part of the money that was misappropriated by the Ministry of Health.

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 Mwaba.

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 Mwaba.

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 Mwaba.

"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 facilities.



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