During their engagement at the World Health Assembly Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the delegation from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services, led by the Health Minister Hon. Dr Culwick Togamana, cease the opportunity to meet with Global Fund.
Global Fund is an international financing and partnership organization with the goal to attract, leverage and invest more resources to end epidemics of HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria. For Solomon Islands, Global Fund has been a crucial donor partner of the Ministry of Health with its efforts in combating malaria and Tuberculosis.
Millions of dollars have been provided by Global Fund over the past decades to tackle malaria and TB in Solomon Islands that the health Minister Dr Togamana opened his remarks at the meeting expressing massive thanks to Global fund describing the Fund’s support as being very critical towards preserving the health and lives of thousands of Solomon Islanders from Malaria and Tuberculosis over the years.
The Minister however highlighted that the Malaria program midterm review findings found that despite deaths and severe malaria cases remained low, yearly increases of Malaria cases since 2015 till today is worrying which was followed with discussions around the causes and recommendations to get Solomon Islands on track again to eliminating Malaria come 2030.
With regards to TB the Health Minister informed Global Fund that the program was greatly affected during the COVID-19 response as with TB isolation facilities were repurposed for COVID-19 isolation wards and GeneXpert machines reconfigured for COVID-19 testing.
“We are looking into the possibility of procuring a new diagnostic equipment that will greatly assist in detecting cases that can resist TB treatment and seek permission of Global Fund to allow its funds for the procurement of Multi Drug Resistance (MDR) drugs to address cases resisting treatment for TB”, said Dr Togamana.
The Minister reemphasised Global fund still remains an important donor partner of the Ministry in its ongoing efforts against malaria and TB and the Ministry is preparing application for another cycle of funding to be submitted to Global Fund by August this year.
Susanne Kuehn – Chief Ethics Officer & Management Executive of Global Fund said that the Fund is pleased to continue providing support to Solomon Islands. She said that based on midterm review and with the need to get progresses with efforts against Malaria and TB on track towards 2030 targets, it is important that other options to deliver more effectively and efficiently will need to be considered.
Discussions around these options was held during the meeting and will be finalized following the Global Fund team visit to Solomon Islands in the month of June. END////