South African Health Minister to Meet With Global Fund Officials to Discuss Fate of Grant to KwaZulu-Natal
South African Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang will meet with officials from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria to discuss a grant awarded by the fund to KwaZulu-Natal Province, BuaNews/AllAfrica.com reports (BuaNews/AllAfrica.com, 9/5). In April, the fund approved a one-year, multimillion-dollar grant that would allow KwaZulu-Natal to expand the Harvard AIDS Institute's Enhancing Care Initiative from one hospital to all clinics in the province. In June, the South African government tried to block the grant, stating that the grant application did not go through the national government before being submitted to the fund as specified in the application guidelines. KwaZulu-Natal officials said that they applied directly to the fund because South Africa had not established a Country Coordinating Mechanism at the time of application. The South African National AIDS Committee has since been designated as the nation's CCM. In a statement released in July, KwaZulu-Natal Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said that he and Tshabalala-Msimang had agreed to pool the funds under the National AIDS Council, which would use the money "in a manner that will benefit all the provinces equitably and within programs contained within the proposals submitted to the Global Fund." Fund officials, however, have said that South Africa cannot reallocate the funds and must reapply for the grant in order to alter the arrangement (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/28). Health ministry spokesperson Sibani Mngadi said that if Tshabalala-Msimang meets with fund officials, the discussions will be based on the agreement made between the health minister and Mkhize in July (BuaNews/AllAfrica.com, 9/5).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.