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Making the Global Fund work for Mozambique

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It's been a busy week! The big events kicked off in the Minister of Health’s meeting room on the 8th floor of the Ministry yesterday afternoon in a meeting called by Minister Paulo Ivo Garrido to discuss this week's visit of the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM). It was my second meeting with the  Minister in 4 days, highlighting the vigour with which the Minister is approaching his second mandate as Minister of Health.

Katie Bigmore of DFID (at the front) and Lisa Nelson of CDC Mozambique
Katie Bigmore of DFID (at the front) and Lisa Nelson of CDC Mozambique

There were a number of partners present in the meeting, and I have attached a pictured Katie Bigmore, my colleague in DFID talking to Dr. Lisa Nelson, who is the director of the United States Centre for Disease Control here in Mozambique which manages PEPFAR funding, which is the President's Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief.

The Minister highlighted a number of challenges Mozambique faces trying to mould the Global Fund mechanisms, which are best suited to project type financing, to the SWAp approach in Mozambique, which has been set up to organise donor funding so that it helps build a strong national system. It should be possible to effectively tackle the three diseases at the same time as helping to build strong health systems which are better able to meet all the essential health needs of the population of Mozambique. Unfortunately funding disbursed in 2009 was less than a third of that anticipated, and the next couple of weeks will require some intensive work and planning if we are to overcome this lack of predictability in funding, which is essential for effective functioning of the Ministry of Health.

I will post a blog shortly with an update on whether we are making progress, as we also had a major meeting of the Country Coordination Mechanism (CCM) of the Global Fund this week. The meeting, which takes place in central Maputo over the course of a day and a half, is an opportunity for members of the Government and civil society to consider together with GFATM and development partners what needs to be done.

As I said at the beginning, it has been a busy week as in addition to the Global Fund visit, there was also a series of meetings to plan for the annual evaluation of the health sector, which I have mentioned previously. And I also had a meeting with the Permanent Secretary (Dr. Tomo) and directors of the Ministry to discuss key issues facing the sector, as well as DFID having a visit from the Director for Africa, Beverley Warmington, but more on this later.

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