Welcome to the 2nd edition of the UNDP / Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) Northern Sudan E-Bulletin. This update aims to shed light on achievements reached by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the national and international partners in the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria supported by GFATM during the period October-December 2009. We are also commemorating World AIDS day by highlighting the milestones reached in responding to this pandemic, and by bringing into focus the remaining challenges ahead.

UNDP and People Living with HIV/AIDS Celebrate World AIDS Day
Years of war, political unrest and extreme poverty has resulted in high HIV prevalence in Sudan. According to the 2002 Situation Analysis Study conducted by the Sudan National AIDS Control Program (SNAP) and UNAIDS, it is estimated that the number of HIV positive cases has reached 320,000 in Sudan; the highest in the Middle East Northern Africa region.The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sudan is involved in a series of interventions to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence and mortality in the country. (Read more)

VCT Centers Ensuring Universal Access to Testing and Treatment
“The social aspect of HIV is the worst aspect of the disease,” explains counselor Nahla Mahjoub Al-Zubair who works as a social counselor in the Voluntary and Counseling and Testing Center (VCT) in Khartoum North Hospital. She further adds, “The VCT center is usually approached by 25-30 clients per month who test for HIV and others who wish to know more about HIV.” The counselors and doctors in the clinic emphasize to clients approaching the center that all testing is confidential and that treatment is available and free of charge. (Read more)

Interview with the Director of the Sudan National AIDS Control Programme Dr. Ehab Ali Hassan
Q1. Dr. Ehab first, I wish to congratulate you on your new post as the Sudan National AIDS Control Programme (SNAP) director. How would you describe the current HIV situation in Sudan?
A. Sudan is a very large country with diversity in both climate and in ethnicity; hence the HIV situation also varies in the South and the North.
(Read more)


NTP and GFATM formulate New Messages for TB Education
Tuberculosis (TB) is a huge public concern in Sudan. The disease is characterized with public ignorance and high social stigma of TB-patients leading to increased number of TB positive cases. According to the WHO, Sudan alone carries 15% of the TB burden in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. TB is a curable disease however discontinued treatment is very common which leads patients to develop resistance to treatment.
To address TB in Sudan, GFATM Round 5 TB grant includes an operational research component that addresses “Barriers to Directly Observed Treatment Strategy (DOTS)”.
(Read more)


Malaria Survey Kicks off in 15 Northern States
The National Malaria Control Programme (NMCP), in collaboration with GFATM and WHO is currently entering data for the findings of the national malaria survey conducted during the period 19 October- 4 November 2009. This survey was conducted in 11 states covering a population of more than 17 million and was divided into three components: a household-, household member’s-, and women and children questionnaire. Data was collected from health facilities and residential areas.
This survey aims to ensure that the most effective malaria control interventions are being implemented in the 11 states.
(Read more)

 News Flash

UNDP Organizes Workshop to Strengthen PSM in Sudan
Recognizing the importance of supply chain management of medicines and health supplies, to support the provision of clinical care in Sudan, UNDP GFATM organized a two day workshop on ‘Strengthening Pharmaceutical Supply Management in Sudan’ on 24-25 November 2009.
The aim of the workshop was to develop an agreed “Terms of Reference’ (TOR) for identifying a technical assistance partner that will support efforts to scale up the capacity of the national procurement and supply chain management for HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. This workshop came as a follow up to a technical assistance provided by Euro Health Group in 2008.
Representatives from the General Directorate of Pharmacy/PSM Unit, SNAP, NTP, NMCP and WHO attended the workshop. During two days, participants mapped existing procurement and supply chain systems and identified their strengths and weaknesses. They also discussed issues related to the Logistic Management Information Systems, Standard Operating Procedures and approaches to scaling up current reporting and stock control management.

CCM in Sudan moving forward
A representative from Global Fund, Ms. Patricia Mechael, visited the Sudan Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) on 10 November 2009 where she met with key CCM-members to discuss optimizing CCM performance through the creation of a set of performance indicators. Ms. Mechael further underscored the need to strengthen the supervisory role of the CCM to coordinate Sudan’s response to HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. She also revealed that the Global Fund has allocated a total of USD 45,000 to financially support the oversight role of CCM on GFATM grants in Sudan.
The CCM in Sudan is responsible for the GFATM grant oversight, coordination of submitting one national proposal for funding, identifying financial gaps in achieving the national strategy for fighting diseases, and prioritizing needs. The CCM membership includes representatives from the Government, UN agencies, academics, People Living With HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, and the private sector.

GFATM Conducts On Site Data Verification
The UNDP, in collaboration with representatives from the Local Fund Agency KPMG Kenya, conducted an On Site Data Verification (OSDV) exercise jointly with national partners during the period of 25 October - 5 November 2009 in six northern states. The visit provided an opportunity for staff from UNDP, SRS and national programmes to identify bottle necks on the ground and foster relations with workers in health facilities across Sudan.This exercise is one of the largest monitoring and evaluation exercises conducted this year, targeting 58 health facilities providing services funded by GFATM resources in the three areas of delivery (HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria) during the period January 2009 -June 2009. The missions’ findings reflected that health facilities in Sudan’s states are operating in compliance with GFATM rules and regulations but stressed however the need for standardizing the data summation process to avoid under reporting of cases receiving treatment funded by GFATM resources.

GFATM Staff formulate Business SOP
A team of advisers from the UNDP Management Consulting Team (MTC) at HQ visited the UNDP /GFATM PMU during the period of 6-15 October 2009 to formulate and standardize Standard Operating Procedures for businesses processes. Together with UNDP/GFATM staff members, the consulting team outlined business functions and discussed ways to optimize existing systems to improve grants performance. In addition, GFATM staff reviewed procedural obstacles, and explored ways to minimize project risks and increase delivery.

 Fast Facts Achievements (June- September’09)

- A number of awareness campaigns have been organized during this quarter targeting vulnerable groups (IDPs, tea sellers and truck drivers) in outskirts reaching 340 thousands individuals.
- Three million condoms were distributed for free as part of the public awareness raising sessions.
-, 10,000 pregnant women completed the voluntary counseling and testing process in 15 states following intensive awareness on prevention and the availability of screening services.

- 2000 new smear-positive TB cases were detected during this quarter. Simultaneously 2000 health workers were trained in TB management using DOTS treatment.
- 550,000 condoms were distributed for free to TB patients in various distribution points.

- Seven million people received correct diagnosis and treatment of malaria in this quarter.
- Before the onset of the rainy season, NMCP in collaboration with WHO and with GFATM funds has successfully distributed almost 850 thousand bed nets in 12 states.

About the Global Fund Programme Management Unit

Together the Global Fund and the UNDP assist Sudan in fighting AIDS, TB and Malaria through mobilizing the national government and civil society at all levels for a coordinated and effective response to these three diseases.

As a Principal Recipient, The UNDP Programme Management Unit is currently managing five Grants fighting HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria and a sixth one coming on board shortly, with a total budget of USD 301 million, and covering the period from 2005 to 2015. To ensure the proper management of the all grants, the Global Fund Programme Management Unit is divided into six sections – three sections managing grants, a Monitoring and Evaluation section to assess progress made, a Finance/Admin section and a Procurement/Supply section.
Click here to view organigram of Global Fund Programme Management Unit

More details on the activities of the UNDP Global Fund Unit could be found at: http://www.sd.undp.org/focus_HIV.htm
For more information please contact:
  Ms. Yusra Salim at yusra.salim@undp.org