Discussions on the establishment of the African Constituency Bureau (ACB) date as far back as the year 2012 when the two major Global Fund (GF) constituencies – Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA) and West and Central Africa (WCA) – came together and developed the governance framework paper detailing how they were to operate and govern themselves. The framework provided for the establishment of the African Constituency Bureau for the Global Fund so that it could serve as a technical resource center for these two constituencies. The (ACB) was thus officially launched in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the 6th of May 2017. The formation of the Bureau is in firm recognition of the opportunities the Global Fund (GF) and its mechanisms has continued to provide to the African continent to save millions of lives. Although the GF is participatory in its operations, the African voices were not adequately heard in global health discussions
Dr. Kebede Worku, Board Member for ESA, 2018-2020
is the current State Minister of Health, Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. He hopes to work with other members to strengthen systems aimed at eradicating all three diseases by 2030. “I am inspired by excellent work done by the Global Fund around the world. During my term, I will focus on putting the African Constituencies on the right trajectory to end HIV, tuberculosis and malaria as public health threats by 2030,” Dr. Worku said. “This will entail enhancing health and community systems and developing flexible and innovative programs specific to HIV, tuberculosis and malaria in the African Constituencies. This also requires systematic engagement with local governments and communities and smart partnership with international donors and private philanthropies.” Dr. Worku earned his medical degree from Addis Ababa University. In addition to serving as a Board Member for ESA for the 2018-2020 term, Dr. Worku is the Alternate Chair of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB & Malaria Country Coordinating Mechanism – Ethiopia. He also represents the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia as a Signatory of Malaria, TB & HSS grants. Dr. Worku has served as general practitioner; the Head of West Hararghe Zone Health Office, Oromia Regional State; and he is the current State Minister of Health with the Federal Ministry of Health in Ethiopia.
Major General (Dr.) Gerald Gwinju,
outgoing and incoming alternate board member, ESA, 2016-2018 and 2018-2020 is passionate about public health management and draws on his experience as brigadier general presiding over military health services in Zimbabwe. “By the end of my 2018-2020 tenure, I hope there will be a stronger appreciation of the current challenges developing countries face in terms of health delivery systems,” Major General (Dr.) Gwinji said. “I also hope to motivate member states to increase their support for the general health delivery systems, including community system strengthening.” Major General (Dr.) Gwinji is the permanent secretary of Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Health and Child Care. A medical doctor by profession, Gwinji specializes in public health and, as a brigadier general presiding over military health services in Zimbabwe, he’s s enjoyed a long career in public health management.
Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga (MD, PhD),
Board Member for WCA, 2018-2020 and the current Minister of Health of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) hopes to improve the living conditions of the Congolese population by rebuilding and restoring the credibility of the country’s health sector. “As DRC’s Minister of Health, I’ve experienced first-hand the toll Malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis has taken on the African population in terms of loss of economic and human development opportunities. I also witness everyday the positive impact the Global Fund has had in fighting these three epidemics,” Dr. Kalenga said. “Diseases affect all our communities without making any distinction based on nationality. By working closely together, African Constituencies can raise the African voice and reinforce the African position in the Global Fund.” As a newcomer to the African Constituency, Dr. Ilunga brings more than 30 years in medicine and public health and health economics to the ACB. Dr. Ilunga holds a PhD in Public Health and Epidemiology and an MBA with a focus on Health Economics. He worked for more than thirty years as a doctor in Brussels, serving as a specialist in internal medicine, the head of the intensive care unit, and finally the Medical Director and Managing Director/CEO from January 2013 to December 2016. He studied medicine and earned both his PhD and MBA in Belgium and is the current Minister of Health of DRC.