Monday, February 10, 2014

Govt committed to strengthening financial systems - Kasonde
By Fridah Nkonde
Tue 19 Nov. 2013, 14:01 CAT

HEALTH minister Joseph Kasonde says the Zambian government will ensure that systems and structures are strengthened for improved public financial management and expenditure accountability.

During the official opening of the Global Fund regional meeting for Africa Impact II in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Kasonde said he was happy that the governance dialogue and implementation, through the jointly developed governance management and capacity strengthening plan, had continued to be strengthened with all parties committed to fulfilling their responsibilities.

The aim of the meeting is to provide information on the New Funding Model and share experiences and lessons learned by countries that have been involved in the interim process of the NFM and to make suggestions on how the process can be improved.

"The Global Fund has since disbursed over five billion United States dollars (US$5,041, 831,713.78) to the countries represented here which are Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These funds, together with funds from other cooperating partners, and indeed from our own respective governments (between six per cent and 16 per cent share of health in total government expenditure), have supported us in implementing programmes against three communicable diseases, that is, HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria," Dr Kasonde said in a speech read for him by health deputy minister Christopher Mulenga.

He said Zambia had been privileged to have received over US$720 million from the Global Fund since its inception.

Dr Kasonde said the funding had contributed to having over 480,000 people currently on ART, over 4.3 million Insecticide-Treated Nets distributed and 57,000 new TB smear positive cases detected and treated.

And Uganda's Infectious Diseases Institute executive director Dr Alex Coutinho said it was evident that the Global Fund had done a tremendous job to help fight HIV and AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis.

Dr Coutinho said there was need for Global Fund recipients to efficiently utilise the funds and make a difference in people's lives.

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