Solomon Islands is in the final stages of the grant making process with Global Fund (GF) for the next funding cycle covering the period 2021 to 2023. This comes after the applications for funding were approved by the GF to ensure that efforts to eliminate HIV, TB and malaria continue to be a priority in the country.
Paying increased attention to the Pacific in the 2021-2023 grant period, the Global Fund boosted funding allocation to the Solomon Islands by 78% compared to the 2018-2020 period. Furthermore, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste were given access to additional discretionary funds under the recently established Malaria Elimination in Melanesia and Timor-Leste Initiative (MEMTI).
Launched in June 2019, the . Under MEMTI, the Solomon Islands will improve communication with remote health facilities through the purchase of high frequency radios to improve supply chains, provide clinical patient management and better connect regional health services with the central hospital. This will lessen the substantial gap in health service coverage experienced by those living in remote parts of the country. The purchasing of additional PPE equipment and supplies for all health center outreach services is also a priority under MEMTI, to improve the overall infection control and prevention across the country.
TB, HIV and malaria programs will continue with a greater focus on integration and collaboration. Activities include partnerships with local non-governmental organizations to implement interventions, greater testing through other health services such as reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH), as well as greater community engagement. Interventions to strengthen care, treatment and prevention of TB will be prioritized across 20 hot spot cluster areas, with those communities experiencing the greatest burden of disease receiving the most support and care.
Under Global Fund guidelines for COVID-19 response, Solomon Islands has diverted US$384,000 from the malaria program to strengthen the national preparedness and response through purchasing of medical equipment and consumables. The flexibility provided to ‘ramp up’ pandemic preparedness has allowed the Solomon Islands to improve their laboratory capability as well as enable more patient monitor and ventilator capacity.
The Global Fund estimates that the US$366 million total investment in fighting HIV, TB and malaria has created US$6.9 billion in long-term economic gains. Continuing to prioritize the elimination of these three diseases in the Solomon Islands through better spending and innovative responses will not only improve the health of the population, but also the health of the economy.