Speaking to pressmen at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown, Dr. Mark Dybul commended all programmes supported by Global Fund, adding that he is delighted that affected persons have once more gained confidence in the health system.
He said his visit demonstrates his solidarity to the country’s health recovery and has no doubt that the strategic plans to address HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria would yield results, not too long from now.
The Executive Director further disclosed that Global Fund will increase funding three times of what Sierra Leone is receiving depending on the support it receives from both individual foundations and also from developing nations.
Health and Sanitation Minister, Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone, welcome the visit of Global Fund Executive Director to Sierra Leone, adding that the visit although short, had successful engagements at all levels.
He informed the press that Dr. Mark Dybul’s visit provides an opportunity to discuss implementation of Global Fund grants in the country, identify bottlenecks and come up with solutions.
Dr. Fofanah stated that the Executive Director had the opportunity to meet with His Excellency, the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, where he raised some of the issues that require attention from the government of Sierra Leone to enable swift implementation of HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and HSS grants.
The Health Minister revealed that Dr. Dybul also met with the Minister of Finance to enable both the Global Fund and the Government of Sierra Leone explore mechanisms to address issues related to domestic financing of health programmes sustainability of the community health workers programme as well as possibilities to review the tax exemption status on Global Fund grants implemented through non-Governmental Principal and Sub-Recipients.
Dr. Fofanah embraced the decisions from the just-concluded Global Fund Board meeting and hoped that lessons learned from the recent experience has helped to shape key decisions related to flexibility and approaches for challenging operating environments.
The Ministry, he said, is looking forward to working with partners in the same spirit to rebuild the health system that would respond to the health needs of the population and significantly improve health outcomes across the board.