January 7, 2020 -Bomi County, Liberia:Cross section of citizens from Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu Counties who met in Tubmanburg, Bomi County from 6-7 January 2020 for a regional consultative country dialogue have recommended to the Liberia Coordinating Mechanism (LCM) and national partners to consider TB/HIV prevention as first priority toward the development of a new proposal for the diseases.
Other thematic areas recommended by citizens of Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu counties as outlined in the national strategy plans for the country and the modular framework of the Global Fund were: HIV Treatment, Care and support services; Drugs resistance TB; Prevention Mother to Child Transmission, Differentiated HIV testing services; Reducing human rights-related barriers to HIV/TB services; HIV/TB collaborative activities; and TB/HIV Program Management.
Liberia’s grant for TB/HIV ends December 31, 2020. The LCM which is a national body responsible to develop HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria funding request for submission to the Global Fund on behalf of the country is currently working with national partners, including the National AIDS Commission (NAC), the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s programs – National AIDS Control Program and the National Leprosy and TB Control Program (NLTCP), to conduct a nationwide country dialogue to help solicit citizens’ recommendations for the development of a joint TB/HIV funding request for submission to the Fund.
The LCM has selected March 23, 2020 as the submission date for the proposal to the Global Fund. To achieve this, the LCM divided the country into five regions. Region one counties include- Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Bomi. Region two counties are - Grand Bassa, Montserrado and Margibi Counties. Region three counties include - Nimba, Bong and Lofa counties; while Region four counties comprises of Sinoe, Rivercess and Grand Gedeh Counties; and lastly Region five – River Gee, Maryland and Grand Kru counties. The regional country dialogue will continue up to 24 January 2020.
The LCM will also host national engagements with multilateral and bilateral partners, national partners, civil society, key and affected populations which will take place from 27-30 January 2020.
During the regional dialogue, the LCM provided overview of the Global Fund New Funding Model III. Mrs. Paulina Doe Hilton, Head of Secretariat of the LCM disclosed that Liberia’s allocation letter for joint TB and HIV 2021/23 shows increase in allocation, from US$29.8 million to US$37.8 million. According to her, the country dialogue is intended to ensure that the Global Fund New Funding Model (NFM III) meets the need of the affected communities through engagement.
According to her, the country dialogue among other things seeks to provide groups that are excluded from the LCM or that have weak representation and/or opportunity to participate meaningfully and provide input to the New Funding Request (NFM-III). It also provides the opportunity to discuss and address barriers to accessing health services.
She added that the NFM-III is about Bigger Impact; Predictable Funding; Reward Ambitious Vision; Flexible Timing; and Shorter process Overall.
Other presentations delivered during the dialogue were focused on HIV situation in Liberia, Achievements vs challenges of current Global Fund grant implementation for HIV; Overview of the new National Strategic Plan II 2020-2025; and the Global Fund modular Framework priorities; etc.