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Aug 17, 2022

Health-oriented Organizations Receive Assistance from Global Fund

The Global Fund is providing over three million dollars in grant funding, through the National Health Insurance, to five organizations to allow them to continue with their health-related projects for 2022-2024. The five are: the Civil Society Organization HUB or C.S.O. Hub for short, the National AIDS Commission, Hand in Hand Ministries, the Belize Family Life Association and the Ministry of Health. News Five’s Marion Ali and Kenroy Michael were present for the handing-over and this is their report.


Marion Ali, Reporting

Five organizations whose daily operations involve helping people with health-related issues have received assistance from the Global Fund to continue the next phase of their work. The checks were handed out this time through the principal recipient of the funds, the National Health Insurance. General Manager of N.H.I, Dr Ramon Figueroa:


Ramon Figueroa

Dr. Ramon Figueroa, General Manager, N.H.I.

“We basically signed the agreements to disburse the funds that are assigned to them to implement activities and plans that have already been approved for implementation. They have to report on every activity that they implement and this is linked to the national plan and this is already an approved document.”


The Belize Family Life Association, BFLA, offers HIV testing to people from all social backgrounds, as their General Manager, Joan Burke-Skeen told us.


Joan Burke-Skeen

Joan Burke-Skeen, Executive Director, B.F.L.A.

“We have what we call an essential package of services that we provide as an organization, so that is one of those services is HIV-testing, so definitely what Global Fund does for us is to complement what we do as an association. Also, because we are sexual rights advocates, we ensure that our services – we do not discriminate –so having been the recipient for the fund area that they specifically with key populations, this assists the association in meeting the key pops that we work with.”


The Global Fund’s Focal Point in Belize, Ruth Jaramillo


Ruth Jaramillo

Ruth Jaramillo, Focal Point, Global Fund

“What this project has done is allowed for the hiring of key personnel, particularly under the Ministry of Health, with the employment of an additional adherence counselor, a TB/HIV coordinator and some other key positions. The GeneXpert machines and all the required equipment have been procured already and distributed to the Ministry of Health. This is good news because that means that if you need to be monitored for viral load, it is now available in every district. So, that makes accessing services easier for the client.”


And this is where the Ministry of Health plays a key role, according to Dr Melissa Diaz, who is the Director of Public Health and Wellness.


Melissa Diaz-Musa

Dr. Melissa Diaz-Musa, Director, Public Health & Wellness

“The Ministry of Health has worked closely with National AIDS Commission and as well with Global Funds before to target populations that are more difficult, the populations who don’t access care the way we want them to access care, including patients with H.I.V/Tuberculosis and other areas as well. So persons who might not feel comfortable coming into one of our health facilities or come in through the regular route we work with the C.S.O. Hubs and with other partners who are able to ensure that they – they’re known as peer navigators, the peer navigators will go out and try to recruit patients so that we ensure that we put that emphasis on preventative medicine and in primary care.”


Jamarillo identified that one area of service that needs to be strengthened is advocacy. She said that they would be calling on the National AIDS Commission to assist with that effort. Marion Ali for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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