As part of its oversight role, the Uganda CCM monitors the implementation of Global Fund programs by visiting the different grant implementation sites. The site visits also determine the achievements and challenges encountered by PRs/SRs during grant implementation provide guidance to the implementing partners and lend credibility to the grants received.
The site visit to NDA revealed that the support to NDA was timely because it is now better equipped to test HIV, TB and malaria medicines. As a result, the testing machines have improved NDA’s capacity to test these medicines and ensure timely clearance of mosquito nets.
This year, the Uganda CCM visited Kalangala district, Masaka district and the National Drug Authority (NDA) headquarters and laboratories in Kampala district. The visit to NDA was important because high performance testing machines for testing mosquito nets, HIV, TB and Malarial medicines were procured using Global Fund Malaria grant funds.
The site visits to Kalangala and Masaka district enabled the Uganda CCM to understand if and how the districts access and account for Global Fund funded activities. Understanding the supply chain management (ordering, distribution, storage and dispensing to /access by the beneficiaries) of medicines in the hard to reach Kalangala islands was also a key focus of the site visit to Kalangala.In Masaka district, the Uganda CCM visited Masaka Regional Referral Hospital (RRH) because it handles referral patients from Kalangala district. For CCM, it was important to ascertain if Masaka RRH executes all aspects of their roles especially support supervision, Monitoring and Evaluation as well as training and capacity building to the districts in the region, with special focus to Kalangala district. The Uganda CCM also monitored the utilization of the current GeneXpert machine at Masaka RRH before the delivery of similar machines requested by the Uganda CCM in the current TB grant. During the site visit, the Uganda CCM monitored the implementation of policies for HIV prevention services, care and treatment. The visit also focused on access to reproductive and maternal health services/ referral system in the hard to reach and most at risk populations of Kalangala Islands.
The implementation policies for all types of TB screening, treatment, care and follow up were also assessed as well Malaria treatment and prevention services for pregnant women and children under five years of age. Access to community prompt treatment and prevention through the Village Health Teams (VHTs) was also observed.
At the end of the site visit, the Uganda CCM noted that Global Fund grant funds and supported health care services reach the intended beneficiaries albeit with noted key challenges that call for more Global Fund support. For instance, Masaka RRH reported that most of the maternal deaths recorded at the hospital are referrals from Kalangala district.
During the Uganda CCM’s site visit to the hard to reach areas in Kalangala district, community engagement sessions with residents and health workers revealed that many expectant mothers who require urgent referral services fail to make it to Masaka RRH due to the transport challenges that require crossing from the hard to reach islands with canoes. Some patients have to cross several islands before they reach the RRH yet boats and taxis are not readily available during such emergency situations.
However, it was gratifying to see that medicines are fully available in the hard to reach Island communities and that, the community engagement sessions revealed, the intended beneficiaries access them whenever they need them.
Media Engagement Activities
To increase the visibility of the Global Fund and the Uganda CCM in the country, the Uganda CCM engaged local media at different levels and received positive media coverage for some of its activities carried out between January and June 2016. For example, the site visits mentioned above as well as the Uganda CCM’s various activities received positive media coverage in different leading newspapers in the country. This increased public awareness about the Global Fund and the Uganda CCM in the country