ISLAMABAD-Ministry of National Health Services (NHS) has once again proposed the name of Executive Director (ED) National Institute of Health (NIH) to manage the Global Fund on additional basis despite the donor body recently expressing concerns over effectiveness of the programme, The Nation learnt on Monday.

The summary moved by the Ministry of NHS, available with The Nation said that the name of ED NIH, Prof. Maj. Gen Aamer Ikram has been proposed to be assigned the additional charge of National Coordinator Coordination/Common Unit (NCCCU) to manage the Global Fund.

Documents said that ED NIH was given the additional charge of NCCCU on January 8th, 2018 to manage the Global Fund.

The ministry again proposed his name for the look after charge after the Prime Minister (PM) office desired to re-examine the five names shortlisted against the position by the ministry.

The Global Fund in recent communication with the ministry expressed dissatisfaction over the implementation of the programme working to eliminate TB, Malaria and HIV/AIDS and invoked Additional Safeguard Policy (ASP) to secure its investment.

It also said that “We are not satisfied with the role and performance of the “Common Management Unit” (CMU) and do not see the strength of leadership necessary at this level to balance the centrifugal forces of devolution and to enable provinces to build stronger and more effective programs.”

Meanwhile, two provinces including Punjab and Sindh expressed concerns over the invoking of ASP by the Global Fund and urged the federal ministry to ask the body to revoke its decision.

Summary moved by the Ministry of NHS to the PM office mentioned: “to improve the functioning of Coordination/Common Management Unit Global Fund with the task to integrate the three programmes i.e. AIDS, TB and Malaria, Brig. (now Maj. Gen.) Prof. Aamer Ikram, Executive Director, National Institute of Health was assigned to look after the work of National Coordinator, Coordination/Common Management Unit to Manage Global Fund vide notification No. F.3-6/2018-Admin-IV, dated 8th January, 2018 in addition to his duties.”

It said that the post of National Coordinator, Coordination Unit to manage Global Fund was advertised on 22-08-2019. Thirteen applicants applied for the said post, out of which five candidates were shortlisted.

The document said a meeting of DSC was held on 3rd February, 2020 under the chairmanship of the then secretary M/oNHSR&C. Summary for Prime Minister was submitted for appointment of National Coordinator out of the proposed panel. In response, the Prime Minister desired that the newly appointed Secretary, M/o NHSR&C may re-re-examine the case.

It added that the matter has been re-examined and the said summary is being withdrawn. It is proposed that the post of National Coordinator, Coordination Unit to Manage Global Fund may be re-advertised.

“It is also proposed that the Major General Aamer Ikram, Executive Director (BS-21), National Institute of Health (NIH), may be assigned additional charge of the post of National Coordinator, Coordination Unit to Manage Global Fund till the arrival of a regular incumbent,” it said.

The document further said that the Global Fund is unhappy with the effectiveness of the Coordination Unit to Manage Global Fund and it is important to fill the position with someone who can take the process forward for the planning/coordination of the country program.

Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of NHS Nausheen Hamid talking to The Nation said that additional charges being given are temporary solutions, but the ministry is working to appoint officials on a permanent basis.

However, she said that to keep the momentum of work in motion, it is important to appoint duties to available officials. “However, it will not prolong and positions will be filled on a permanent basis,” she said.