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HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Oct. 5) – The executive director of the Geneva-based organization Global Fund, Professor Richard Feachem, arrived in the Solomon Islands yesterday for a weeklong visit to see the progress of three projects funded by the organization.

Global Fund supports three programs addressing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in the Solomon Islands through the Ministry of Health.

Professor Feachem, a British national, was appointed the first Executive Director of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at the Second Meeting of the Board of Global Fund in April 2002.

He took up his position in July 2002. This is his first ever visit to the country.

Solomon Islands is one of eleven countries in the Pacific that has benefited from funds made available through the Global Fund.

Of three components - HIV, tuberculosis and malaria - malaria is the most significant in the Solomons because of its prevalence.

Since July 2003, Solomon Islands has directly benefited from Global Fund assistance totaling US$3.3 million for five years duration, for all three projects, through to 2008.

Phase I of the funding has just been completed, with Phase II that began July 2005.

The Pacific Region, through the South Pacific Commission (SPC), has submitted proposals for Round Five funding, which the Global Fund Board in Geneva will review and will announce their decision sometime this month.

According to the Under Secretary of the Health and Medical Service, George Malefoasi, it is expected that Professor Feachem will announce the approval of the new malaria proposal during his visit.

During his time in Honiara, Professor Feachem will be meeting with the Prime Minister, other donor agencies, and Cabinet Ministers, and he will also be visiting projects in and around Honiara.

He will also make a malaria field trip to Groue Clinic in East Guadalcanal-Nguvia to witness malaria spraying and re-treatment of nets.

On Friday, Professor Feachem will be making a day-trip to Gizo, Western Province, in order to visit programmes and projects there as well.

It is expected that the delegation will meet with the Western Premier during the visit to Gizo.

Accompanied by his wife Neelam, Professor Feachem will leave for Australia and Papua New Guinea on Tuesday next week.

[PIR editor’s note: The Global Fund, an independent nonprofit organization governed by an international board, was created in 2002 to attract and disburse funding resources to prevent and treat AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in developing countries.]

October 6, 2005

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