Global Fund's support to health workforce weakened
In its Board meeting held in November 2011 in Accra, Ghana, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) took the decision to suspend the Health System Funding Platform and to replace the Round 11 by a Transitional Funding Mechanism (TFM). This TFM unfortunately will not consider stand alone, cross-cutting health system strengthening requests, and therefore discontinue its critically needed health workforce development support when it is not directly related to the three diseases.
The Alliance expresses its serious concerns about the negative impacts that this decision might have not only on the three priority diseases tackled by the Global Fund, but also on other priority health conditions. The Alliance addressed a letter to the chair of the Global Fund’s Board highlighting the progress made in recent years in funding health systems strengthening and human resources for health as important foundations for achieving disease-specific objectives. The letter spells out some of the essential arguments in maintaining health system strengthening (and the health workforce component within that) as a critical element of its work.
“The health workers who fight HIV/AIDS will also diagnose TB, treat malaria – and support reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, as well as provide other essential health services, such as preventing and treating non-communicable diseases. [It] requires people to come into contact with health workers – which is much less likely if financing mechanisms are not in place to enable everyone to access health services, or if the poor condition of health facilities deters people from seeking health services.”
While assuring its continued support and collaboration in the Global Fund’s work, the Alliance calls on its members and partners to back this call for the Global Fund to continue giving due attention to its health system and health workforce funding support to countries.