May 10, 2010, 2:18 PM
Various stakeholders in the health sector recently concluded a two-day annual Global Fund for Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS principal recipient and sub-recipient review meeting at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.
Speaking to journalists shortly after the opening ceremony of the forum organised by the National Aids Secretariat, Alieu Jammeh, director of the Secretariat, said the forum was held to draw partners from different components of the Global Fund under the HIV/ AIDS component, including NAS and Action Aid The Gambia, to review their programmes.
Taking stock is necessary to see which areas have registered progress against some of the challenges and best practices. The forum, he explained, can be used to gauge best practices and to share information among partners, “which is the main purpose of the meeting”.
Mr Jammeh stated that the forum is an opportunity for some of the NGOs to tackle some of their challenges in the implementation of their projects.
NAS conducts this type of forum once a year to discuss issues in order to map the way forward using best strategies.
“We recommend what we think is best for all of us,” he said, adding that the challenges are considered based on their presentation under the first phase.
“We are obliged to buy some of the products, particularly test kits, condoms etc. These are some of the things we are compelled to buy. We have experience of the delays of supply of condoms but nonetheless we get the supplies.”
Mr Jammeh added: “We are also dealing with orphan and vulnerable children whose parents have died. We pay their school fees and take care of their feeding and nutrition.”
Global Fund encourages civil societies to be part of advocacy programmes, he said.
“We are dealing with the Global Fund around eight projects; so we are dealing with the first two-year [activities]. There is still 30% funding gap. There are other issues emanating, especially cross-border issues involving travellers and fishermen, who travel frequently across the border.”
Almamo Fofana, the HIV/AIDS programme manager at Action Aid The Gambia, said the meeting availed them the opportunity to review their one-year project activities in The Gambia.