Gambia Expects over $17 Million from Global Fund to Combat Malaria 

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By Mustapha Jallow

The Gambia’s Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) is expecting $17.5 million US dollars worth of funding from Global Fund – which is estimated to be over a billion dalasi, to continue the fight against malaria in the country, CCM communication officer says. 

Mariama Gibba remarked: “We are expecting over 17 million US dollars. The last grant for HIV and TB was 20 million US dollars; but it has now been reduced to 17 million US-dollars because of our high performance. We are in the eliminating stage of malaria. Due to that, we have been punished by our performance.’’

She said the project would last for a period of three {3} years, and targets to cover the entire regions of the country. However, Gibba pointed out that there are certain interventions of the project that are limited to certain regions. She said the test kits that are being used are too expensive, coupled with the exorbitant malaria drugs and bed nets.

In partnership with The Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in the Gambia (TANGO), an umbrella body of NGOs and CSOs, the group updated the press at a local hall in Fajara on July 26 on the consultations and dialogue with media and other stakeholders to fight and control Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDS in the country. The objective of the consultation, according to her, is to hear from key stakeholders’ views and opinions on what strategies and interventions CCM would lay down in the fight against malaria. 

Gibba said CCM was established on the recommendation of the Global Fund to fight Malaria, TB and HIV/AIDES.

“We are very happy to have the media fraternity; because CCM works in an accountable and transparent way in accordance with Global Fund principles. So, it would also help CCM members or key stakeholders to make informed decisions and live saving programs on the three diseases such as HIV, TB and Malaria,’’ she explained.

TANGO as an organisation, Mrs. Ndey Sireng Bakurin said, will always make efforts in bringing together CSOs and NGOs to work with development partners and compliment government efforts towards achieving the National Development Plan and the Global Sustainable Development Goals. She said the media has a big role to play in helping to fight against Malaria, HIV and TB – through spreading the relevant news to the citizens of the country.  

Cherino Jallow, a consultant, said the opinions, views and perception of the key stakeholders – including the media, will be used in fighting Malaria.

Muhammed S. Bah, the President of the Gambia Press Union (GPU), views the session as timely and important because it raises awareness levels of the masses through the media.  Bah added that HIV, TB and Malaria are ‘very deadly’ diseases. 

“The media has played and is still playing a key role in raising citizens’ awareness through disseminating relevant information of concern. You cannot implement projects without the media. So, I believe it is important that we engage the media in this important process,’’ he said.

Bah advised CCM to allocate grants to reporters to do stories on HIV, TB and Malaria, saying these efforts can help CCM in fighting these diseases.

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