Uganda and the Global Fund strengthen control on programs

13 September 2012

Programs in Uganda currently provide ARV treatment for 291,000 people and distributed 7.7 million insecticide treated nets to protect families from malaria

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Ministry of Health of Uganda are implementing a plan to intensify efforts to safeguard Global Fund investments in Uganda. Both parties are discussing options to strengthen financial oversight and management, mitigate the risk of fraud, and safeguard grant resources.

On its part, the Global Fund commissioned the Local Fund Agent, PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited Uganda, to review transactions for the Malaria Round 7 phase 1, in November 2011. Issues found by the review prompted the Global Fund to recommend strengthening accounting records, reinforcing internal controls and oversight of programs. As a result of these findings, the Global Fund requested follow up of accountabilities amounting to approximately USD 500,000.

Subsequently, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health instituted an internal audit to verify expenditure and address the internal control weaknesses underscored by the Global Fund. The audit outcomes will help the country to streamline grant management practices and safeguard the Global Fund investments in Uganda, in order to maximize future outcomes. The internal audit report is currently under discussion by senior officials at the Ministry of Health.

Police authorities in Uganda are also still conducting investigations, which will likely result in further actions by relevant competent authorities of the government of Uganda.

While investigations and reviews are ongoing, the Global Fund has clearly stated that a refund on the ineligible expenses for the malaria program will be sought upon completion of the investigations related to Round 7 malaria phase 1, and requested that appropriate disciplinary action be pursued, in case adequate justifications cannot be provided.

The Global Fund has also instructed the Principal Recipient to discontinue money transfers intended for program implementation to individual personal bank accounts. In addition, the organization is working with Uganda to identify alternative modalities to support and implement training activities until the country demonstrates that it can comply with the internal controls and accountability of these activities.

***

NOTE FOR THE EDITOR

The Global Fund is an international financing institution dedicated to attracting and disbursing resources to prevent and treat HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria. The Global Fund promotes partnerships between governments, civil society, the private sector and affected communities, the most effective way to help reach those in need. This innovative approach relies on country ownership and performance-based funding, meaning that people in countries implement their own programs based on their priorities and the Global Fund provides financing where verifiable results are achieved.

Between 2009 and 2012, Uganda has received the following cumulated disbursements in support of the National Malaria Control Program:

  • USD 24,781,064 under Round 4 phase 2 malaria grant to support prevention and control of Malaria. Other activities supported under this grant were advocacy and community sensitization, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), supportive supervision, and training.
  • USD 12,107,359 under the Affordable Medicines for Malaria grant, with USD 6,553,335 was remitted directly to the Voluntary Pooled Procurement for the procurement of 15.7 million malaria rapid diagnostic tests and USD 5,554,024 for the training of health workers in integrated case management of malaria, support supervision, public awareness and education, training of private service providers and enhanced monitoring of availability and price of antimalarial drugs, maintaining good quality data, strengthening management of malaria in schools, as well as pharmacovigilance and follow up on the effectiveness of the antimalarial drugs through resistance monitoring.
  • USD 51,194,127 under Round 7 phase 1 malaria grant was to support procurement and distribution of 7.4 Million Long Lasting Insecticidal nets (LLINs) and related activities. The nets were for pregnant mothers and children under five years of age. This was successfully done and concluded by end of February 2010. The country is in the process of getting a disbursement under this new phase. Uganda will receive and distribute 15 million LLINs to achieve universal coverage.
  • USD 2,043,705 under Round 10 phase 1 malaria grant was received in May 2012 to mainly fund activities such as technical assistance, communication materials to scale up prevention and treatment interventions, and M&E.

***

For more information please contact:

Ministry of Health of Uganda
ASUMAN LUKWAGO
Tel: +256 414 340872
E-mail: ps@health.go.ug

The Global Fund (Switzerland)
MARCELA ROJO
Tel: +41 58 791 1679
E-mail: marcela.rojo@theglobalfund.org