Global Fund Suspends HIV/AIDS Grants to Nigeria
The Global Fund To Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on Friday suspended about $50 million in grants to help Nigeria control the spread of HIV/AIDS because the country failed to meet targets on drug access and "transparency," Reuters South Africa reports (MacInnis, Reuters South Africa, 4/28). The Global Fund in November 2005 wrote a letter to Nigeria's National Action Committee on AIDS saying it might suspend the grants. The letter pointed out inconsistencies in data provided by NACA, including the number of people taking antiretroviral drugs and also stated that a computerized accounting system had not been set up to trace disbursement of funding -- a precondition of the grants. At that time, NACA spokesperson Sam Archibong said the committee had made changes to its management of the grants in response to the letter (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 11/17/05). The Global Fund's Board on Friday voted to halt two five-year grants after two years because not enough people were receiving antiretroviral drugs and there were concerns over data accuracy, according to Global Fund spokesperson Jon Liden. The grants funded programs to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, as well as broaden access to antiretroviral drugs. The grants were worth $69 million in total, of which $20 million has already been disbursed. Another $180 million Global Fund grant to Nigeria, which has not yet received formal approval, will not be affected, Liden said. According to government statistics released on Friday, Nigeria's HIV prevalence decreased to 4.4% in 2005 from 5.0% in 2003 (Reuters South Africa, 4/28).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.