PRIVATE SECTOR ENLISTED TO ENSURE AIDS, TB AND MALARIA
FUNDS ARE EFFECTIVELY SPENT
Fund Unveils New System
To Improve Financial Accountability
Grant Negotiations Begin with Initial Countries
MONTREAL – The Fund to Fight
AIDS, TB and Malaria released plans today for a bold new
system that will use private sector firms to increase oversight
of how donor money is spent.
Auditing firms, such as KPMG, Crown Agents and PricewaterhouseCooper
have been contracted to speed up the initial release of
funds by decreasing front-end bureaucracy and paperwork,
while tightening the monitoring of program effectiveness.
“The epidemics demand that we stop going about business
as usual,” said Richard Feachem, executive director
of the Fund. “The Fund is working together
with donors to create a new generation of systems for a
more comprehensive world response to diseases of poverty.”
The announcement was made at the opening session of the
IUATLD World Congress on Lung Health, a prominent annual
meeting of tuberculosis specialists from around the world.
The new system will standardize and simplify procedures
required to quickly disburse funds, while establishing robust
and reliable systems for monitoring of financial and programmatic
Assessors, called Local Fund Agents, will determine the
degree of readiness, both financially and programmatically,
of the grantees receiving money from the Fund. The
Local Fund Agents will also assure responsible disbursements
and monitor program success. The Local Fund Agents are being
selected based on their independence from those receiving
funds, their expertise with financial and programmatic management,
and the quality and expertise of their in-country local
staff members. To date, all Local Fund Agents have been
selected from the private sector.
Tanzania, with its recent history of innovative health
care, is scheduled to be one of the first countries to receive
money from the new Fund. Discussions are continuing
this week to establish the new assessment and reporting
process and finalize the dispersal of $17.4 million over
two years to control HIV/AIDS and malaria.
“Over a decade ago, Tanzania broke similar ground
in improving the accountability of health programs by developing
the DOTS tuberculosis control strategy,” said Feachem.
“DOTS has made health workers more accountable for
the cure of their patients and programs more rigorous in
reporting their progress in controlling the disease. We
all stand to benefit greatly if we can take what we have
learned about quality control from the DOTS work in Tanzania
and apply these lessons toward improving the quality of
our financial systems.”
Sri Lanka will be another initial country to put the monitoring
system in place. The Fund awarded $6.6 million over
five years to support Sri Lanka’s efforts to control
TB. The money will extend DOTS treatment services in under-served
areas, making use of NGOs and the private sector.
“Donor investments have already helped countries
such as Tanzania and Sri Lanka fight tuberculosis. They
have achieved impressive results but the fight has just
begun,” said Feachem. “The Fund will
bring substantially more funds to these countries to scale
up these successes.”
According to Feachem, donor support has already helped
countries extend the DOTS strategy to reach nearly one million
TB patients each year. It is estimated that TB patients
being treated through DOTS services are twice as likely
to be cured of the disease, than by clinics not using DOTS.
In India and Peru, DOTS has succeeded in cutting TB deaths
seven-fold. Nepal and China have cut TB deaths in half where
the DOTS strategy has been used.
“Additional financial support is required to provide
DOTS more widely,” said Feachem. “There are
effective interventions for the treatment and control of
malaria and HIV/AIDS that also need to be taken to scale.
The Fund is committed to making sure every dollar
spent on AIDS, TB and malaria has maximum impact.”
“With DOTS, we have an effective strategy for controlling
TB, a track record of getting results, and a global plan
to rapidly expand these services,“ said Dr Nils Billo,
executive director of the International Union Against TB
and Lung Disease, which sponsored the tuberculosis conference.
“The Fund has now created a better system to
ensure donor funds can be better accounted for. We hope
that the required funds to now massively scale up the fight
against AIDS, TB and malaria are soon forthcoming.“
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The Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is an independent,
public-private partnership working to attract, manage and
disburse new resources to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria,
and to rapidly disburse these funds to effective prevention
and treatment programmes in countries with greatest need.