IRIN Examines HIV/AIDS Response In Guinea-Bissau

IRIN reports on the HIV/AIDS response in Guinea-Bissau, writing, “One year after the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria reduced funding to the Guinea-Bissau government body in charge of coordinating HIV prevention and treatment activities, health centers outside the capital are facing medicine shortages, patients are not receiving the treatment they need, and the transport of patients to treatment centers has been cut.” According to the news service, “The Global Fund stopped most of its funding to the Secretriado National de Luta Contra le Sida (SNLS), the government structure in charge of coordinating the HIV response, at the end of 2011, because of poor performance management and a lack of transparent fiduciary controls.”

“The Global Fund continued to supply basic medicines and testing through their Voluntary Pooled Procurement facility, the official procurement body of the Global Fund, which buys and delivers medicines for countries unable to do so themselves, said David Te, director of care at SNLS,” IRIN writes. “But SNLS, which is in charge of transporting medicines to clinics and hospitals across the country and overseeing medicine storage and stock-taking, has had no money to pay staff salaries for one year, and lacks finances for transport or even electricity,” IRIN continues. According to the news service, “[t]he Fund told IRIN in a written statement that it is ‘working with partners in the country to find alternative arrangements for program implementation,'” and “[i]t hopes to resume grant activities, financing essential prevention, treatment and care, once a sound fiduciary agent has been named” (12/12).

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