The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Health (MOH) Program Coordinating Unit (PCU) of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (TGF) has concluded a Joint Review of the Fund’s supported programs in the country. The review meeting was organized on October 18, 2018 at the National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Control Program (NLTCP) in the Congo Town, near Monrovia.
The meeting brought together about 60 key stakeholders in the health sector including representatives of the UN System, the government and local and international non-governmental organizations. Principal Recipients (PRs) of the Global Fund grant delivered specific presentations on achievements, challenges and way forward to accelerating progress toward ending AIDS, increasing case notification and treatment of persons diagnosed of Tuberculosis, and reducing illnesses and deaths associated with Malaria in Liberia from January to June, and July to September, 2018.
Currently, Liberia’s HIV prevalence stands at 2.1% according to the Liberia Demographic Health Survey (LDHS-2013) while TB case notification of 5,849 reflecting the case detection rate of 41.8% leaving out many cases, according to WHO 2014 estimate. The estimates are based on TB case notifications which are unlikely to be correct as there is evidence of under-reporting of primary defaulters and deaths, especially during the EVD crisis. Malaria prevalence also stands at 31% (LMIS 2016) with pregnant women and children under ages 5 being most at risk. The national target is to reduce illnesses and deaths associated with Malaria by 50% by 2020.
Welcoming the participants during the Joint Review meeting, Dr. Francis N. Kateh, Chief Medical Officer of the Republic of Liberia welcomed the participants and thanked the Global Fund for its many support to health for the people of his country.
According to him, with the Global Fund support Liberia is making significant progress today in the area of health. However, he urged participants, especially PRs of the GF grant to consider participants views during the Joint Review Meeting in order to help advance strategies for an improved program implementation.
“We must do all in our powers to ensure services reach the end users. But to achieve this, we have to take the pieces of advice from the stakeholders who have come and are contributing to the improvement of our health sector,” Dr. Kateh noted.
Speaking earlier, Mrs. Sophie Parwon, Manager, Program Coordinating Unit (MOH-PCU) said every year a Joint Review of the Global Fund grant implementation is undertaken to understand progress, constraints and future priorities.
The main idea for the review is to help in-country partners go through the important reports and strategies to highlight issues and options to improve service delivery and success rate.
This year’s Joint Review will provide all stakeholders with an opportunity to discuss the implementation rate of all principal recipients of the Global Fund grant for a successful implementation of the Global Fund grant.
“As we come together today, let us discuss with an opened mind. Speak of the issues that matter most to the people at the community level. This will not only help the PRs but the country entire health system,” Mrs. Parwon averred.
The PRs of the Global Fund grants for the period 2018-2020/21 are Ministry of Health for Tuberculosis, Ministry of Health & Population Services International for HIV and Ministry of Health and Plan International Liberia for Malaria.