CCM to support Nigeria with Global Fund to fight COVID-19 – Official

(NAN) An official of Global Fund Nigeria, Mr Dozie Ezechukwu, says the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) for Global Fund (GF) will support Federal Government to fight Coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Ezechukwu, who is the Executive Secretary, CCM Global Fund Nigeria, said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said that CCM would use part of the ongoing allocation from GF to strengthen some of the health systems in the country to address COVID-19.

CCM Nigeria, the custodian of Global Fund grant, is a body of representatives of government, bilateral and multilateral organisations, Civil Society Organisations, patients, communities, private sector and academia.

The mandate of CCM is to oversee the delivery of Global Fund for HIV, Tuberculosis (TB), Malaria and Resilient Sustainable Systems for Health (RSSH) grant.

Ezechukwu said that the Global Fund support would also help CCM to be on track to address three diseases- HIV, TB and Malaria that the grant was meant for.

The official said people with low immune system would likely be exposed to COVID-19 and people living with any of the three diseases would be at high risk of contracting the virus.

“Secondly, there is need to strengthen our health system, particularly at the primary healthcare level where most people go for their health needs.

“So, if you have a surgery in a hospital attending to COVID-19, then it is going to stretch the system.

“It will stretch it in such a way that other services may suffer because it is the same health workers that will be responding to COVID-19.

“We are currently working with Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to use some of the money from the grant to support some health systems.

“It will also be used for strengthening interventions, just to prepare the country better in the case of any eventuality of increase in COVID-19 cases but most importantly to protect health workers too.”

Ezechukwu told NAN that Nigeria is on the right track to access the 890 million dollars grant from Global Fund to reduce the burden of HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria from 2021 to 2023.

“CCM is making progress as the Global Fund Country Team in the country to review our draft and provide comments this week.

“We will then use upper week to finalise and submit the grant application so we are on track to submit it on March 23.”

Malaria is expected to take the highest allocation of 417. 8 million dollars from the grant; followed by HIV with 329.1 million dollars and TB will get 143.5 million dollars.

Malaria will take 47 per cent of the allocation; HIV, 37 per cent, while TB will take 16 per cent. (NAN)

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