Local assemblies told to show resolve to part with malaria funds
He said although the assembly responded to requests for malaria support, he was unsure whether or not it was being drawn from the malaria allocation.
Mr Muntalib, who made the call at a policy meeting on malaria held at Dambai, said there was poor coordination towards managing the 0.5 percent of the District Assembly Common Fund (DACF) set aside for malaria programming.
He, therefore, called for guidelines to be solidified to ensure proper allocation and spending.
“Assemblies must show resolve to part with the money. If they can inform us, we will access it,” he said.
The forum was organised by SEND Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, as part of the validation process of a 2019 survey it undertook for USAID’s People for Health (P4H) on the allocation of the malaria fund.
Mr Richard Anane Adortse, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for the project, said the evaluation revealed some levels of noncompliance with directives by assemblies.
He said most Assemblies surveyed did not prioritize malaria activities in their Medium Term Development Plans.
According to him, 90 percent of District Health Management Committees (DHMCs) were “never involved, given information or inputs on management of the funds”.
Mr Adortse also noted that all MMDAs surveyed also did not operate separate accounts for the fund, and were managing it with their own discretion.
He said malaria still topped out-patient attendance at health facilities and continued to impose significant economic burdens on families and the nation as a whole, and proper allocation of the fund would help DHMCs plan ahead.
He stressed the need for collaboration to make the much-needed malaria programming work. “Assemblies and the District Health Management Teams must work together. District Health Management Teams have more information and help polish the policies,” he said.
He added that funding for malaria eradication efforts was dwindling, and that local authorities ought to explore other ways of supporting the efforts.
Mr Eben Carboo-Hartog, Field Officer, SEND Ghana said the Government Integrated Financial and Information Management System (GIFMIS) ought to recognise malaria as a development matter to streamline expenditure.
He said a working committee would be instrumental in helping surmount issues surrounding utilization of the fund.
P4H is a five-year project aimed at improving access to quality health service delivery in 20 districts from five regions including; the Greater Accra, Eastern, Northern, Volta and the Oti Regions.
Through strengthening organisational and institutional capacities of government and other stakeholders, the P4H project strives towards mutual accountability in the formulation and implementation of policies in health, water, sanitation and nutrition.
It is being implemented by three organizations led by Send-Ghana, and includes Penplusbytes and Ghana News Agency.