President Paul Kagame has said that the working relationship between Rwanda and the Global Fund is proof that health financing can bring good results if money is put in the right place.
Scaling up of Global Fund and Rwanda’s biggest health gains is not an accident even when they take place at the same time, said Kagame in a speech opening the 37th Global Fund board meeting in Kigali.
“This is not an accident as seen in the fact that Rwanda is not the only success story to emerge during this period and as demonstrated by the General Millennium Development Goals globally,” said the president.
“This progress would only have been achieved in the context of a coherent integrated and sustainable health system which we have been pursuing.”
However, the President cautioned against taking for granted the financial support from Global Fund (GF) in order to make a significant difference in improving the fight against Malaria, HIV Aids and Tuberculosis.
“Let’s not take this for granted after all it is quite easy to waste billions of dollars and continue to spend money year in year out whether there are any results showed for it or not,” Kagame said.
Global Fund in itself, he said, was an innovation and new experience of doing business to promote health societies.
“We see examples all over, whether in development programs or peace and security efforts in our region and beyond. We can see a lot of funds flowing and you can hardly match the results with the efforts,” said President Kagame.
Through Global Fund grant and other partners, Rwanda put 175,000 HIV/AIDS patients on anti – retroviral medicines, handed out 12.9 million treated mosquito nets, while 35,600 tuberculosis cases have been treated.
With Three (3) percent of HIV prevalence rate, Rwanda fares well in efforts to fight HIVAIDs in the region followed by Tanzania at 5%, Kenya with 6% and Uganda at 7%, according to East African Community facts and figures report.
Since 2003, Global Fund has granted Rwanda $1.2 billion to support several health initiatives.
For the next two years (2017-2018), Global Fund grant to Rwanda amounts to $210 million.
Kagame said that the Global Fund has and continues to understand this vision and supports it, which deserves a thank you – and fair to say that GF is the most consequential and effective development partnership in the history of Rwanda.
Kagame said that there is need to draw lessons for future improvement of healthcare and the same example of accountability should be replicated elsewhere.
The Board Chairman of Global Fund, Norbert Hauser, also said that there was no doubt more funding will be given to Rwanda which has proved to be a global model in health care.
“The way Rwanda handles health care is unique. It is financed by the community and the accountability is checked by the auditor general and the parliament engages in taking account of the achievements. This means money spent for health care is well spent,” Hauser said.