Health Trust Fund fundraising events raise over MVR 5.5 million (US$357,142)

Following a week of fundraising events the Health Ministry has raised over 5.5 million MVR (US$357,142) for the Health Trust Fund established in late April, falling short of the MVR 270 million (US$ 17,532,450) needed for health sector services.

The Health Trust Fund was established 20 November 2012 under Ministry of Finance and Treasury regulations and inaugurated on April 29, 2013.

The only way the Health Trust Fund can be maintained is through donations of sufficient assets and in this regard government and private sector contributions are very important, Minister of Health Dr Ahmed Jamsheed recently told local media.

He explained that the health sector requires an additional MVR 270 million (US$ 17,532,450), which requires public contributions and cooperation.

Previously health sector services were “covered by the people”, however following the start of the Aasandha universal health insurance scheme on 1 January 2012 the government of Maldives needed a “huge amount of finance” to cover expenses, said Jamsheed.

Therefore, the Health Ministry organised a series of fundraising events to “commence activities to raise funds, not to gather all the funds need to cover all health sector services,” he added.

“We want health services to be sustainable by putting an end to service disruptions due to machinery breakdowns as well as provide a systematic way for people to give in-kind donations,” Health Ministry Director and fundraising media team member Thasleema Usman told Minivan News yesterday (June 8).

“There has always been a budget shortfall at the Health Ministry, there has never been enough money,” Usman said.

“We wanted to try and do something for the Maldivian people, additionally there are also people who want to contribute [to the fund] for the benefit of the public,” she added.

Usman explained that the various fundraising events were organised as a start for the trust fund and to raise awareness among the public.

“We didn’t want this to be a ‘once off’ thing,” she said.

“Although the total amount of funds raised are still being tallied, as of this afternoon (June 9), the total reported was MVR 5.5 million (US$357,142), with over MVR 2 million (USD$129,870) in cash donations and more than MVR 3 million (US$194,805) from in kind contributions,” Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA) Senior Scientific Officer and fundraising media team member Mariyam Shabeena told Minivan News today (June 9).

Budgetary needs

The health sector budgeted MVR 2.2 billion (US$142,857,000) for 2013, however around MVR 1.1 billion  US$71,428,500) or 50 percent of the total budget is allocated for the National Social Protection Agency (NSPA), according to Usman.

She said that over MVR 5 million is needed for social safety net subsidy programs, such as single parent’s allowance, foster parent’s allowance, disability registration and benefit and electricity subsidies, which fall under NSPA.

NSPA is also responsible for managing the national social health insurance scheme, a public-private partnership with Allied Insurance.

“Aasandha requires 1.13 billion MVR (US$73,376,550) to provide actual health care,” Usman said.

“An additional MVR 500 million (US$32,467,500) is required for Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) operations and the Health Ministry budget also includes institutions, such as the Maldives Food and Drug Authority (MFDA), National Drug Agency (NDA), etc,” she continued.

Usman explained that the health trust fund will be transparent, with legal mechanisms to manage the money.

“The Health Ministry can only have a sustainable trust fund if funds are raised legally, by abiding with Finance Ministry regulations,” she said.

“The fund has a very well written policy that explains how the money will be used and what has been used,” Usman continued.

“A nine member committee chaired by the Health Minister will oversee the fund, which has a grading system to determine where funds are need most.”

Members of the public making contributions can earmark their donations for a particular island or association, but the trust fund committee needs to know what is being earmarked so contributions are not wasted, Usman added.


“We have received a lot of support from the media, they have been a very, very big help,” said Usman.

A one hour telethon pre-show was broadcast nationwide from June 1 – 7 on four TV stations – MBC, VTV, DhiTV, Raajje TV – and three radio stations – MBC, VTV, DhiFM to raise awareness about the fundraising events.

“The broadcast reports showed where we are, the assistance required, and the grand realities of how the Health Ministry spends their budget,” Usman explained.

The actual telethon was held Saturday ( June 8 ) from 6:00am to midnight. It was kicked off with a sponsored walk along one of Male’s main thoroughfares.

Additionally, two charity football matches were held in Male’s National Stadium Friday (June 7), with Maldivian media presenters facing off against film stars.

The film star women’s team was victorious, winning 4 – 0 , while the men’s media team won 3-0 after dominating overtime penalty kicks.

Proceeds from ticket sales and t-shirt purchases also contributed to the Health Ministry fund.

Furthermore, a Children’s Evening fundraising event was also held at Male’s Children’s Park (Kudakudinge Bageecha).

Donation boxes were also placed at ferry terminals in Male’, as well as IGMH, regional and atoll hospitals.

“Ultimately these events were very successful because we were able to raise so much money,” said Usman.


Local NGO launches child abuse prevention website

Maldivian NGO Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC) launched the website for HOPE Campaign against Child Abuse and announced its partnership with telecommunications company Dhiraagu for an upcoming fundraising road race event on May 7.

The website will provide “easy access” to information in four key HOPE Campaign areas in both Dhivehi and English. The campaign is focused on helping children ‘heal’, the importance of ‘outreach’, ways to ‘prevent’ abuse, and how to ‘empower’ children against abuse.

To support the NGO’s advocacy and awareness efforts, ARC will hold a “run to make a difference road race” in partnership with Dhiraagu, with 100 percent of the proceeds used for child protection programs.


Dhiraagu eyes fundraising push with 2012 road race launch

Dhiraagu has this week launched its 2012 Broadband Road Race, which will be held in Male’ on June 29 under the banner of the local telecoms group’s corporate social responsibility programme.

The road race, which organisers claim is the largest running event in the country’s athletic calender, is now in its sixth year.

According to the company, some 1,500 runners – made up of professional athletes, fun runners, local and multinational business, schools and sport teams – were estimated to have participated in last year’s race.

Speaking to media at the launch of this year’s event at Male’s Nasandhura Palace Hotel yesterday, Dhiraagu representatives said the company hoped for an even bigger turnout in 2012. The race is organised in collaboration with the Athletics Association of the Maldives.

Dhiraagu spokesperson Imjad Jaleel told Minivan News that aside from serving as an official event in the country’s athletic calender for both professional and amateur runners, the race was primarily devised by the company to support fund-raising initiatives for local issues.

“There are real concerns here about issues of domestic violence and child abuse, we hope that charities can use this event for fundraising as well as raising awareness of their work locally,” he said.

Jaleel stressed that the road race had been devised by the company in 2007 additionally as a means to promote healthier lifestyles in the country.

“Due to the lack of space in Male’, it was not possible to host an official marathon as participants would have to run around Male’ five or six times,” he added.

Company role

Communications Manager Mohamed Mirshan Hassan told local media that aside from devising and hosting the race, Dhiraagu’s fund raising commitments were based on encouraging its staff to play a more personal role.

“We see this event more as a social platform for NGO s to raise funds as well as awareness of their campaigns,” he said. “However, senior colleagues from Dhiraagu ran last years event raising about Rf80,000 between them. This is a good example for others in how the event can be used for fund-raising.”

The company estimated that about one hundred of its employees are expected to participate in the race this year, reflecting strong “personal support” for the event.

Dhiraagu claimed during yesterday’s launch that it was also looking to work with sponsors and athletic associations to further increase the scale of the event by increasing the number of participants taking part in the 2012 race.

Organisers said they will also be providing prizes in several different categories for both male and female amateur and professional runners. Schools, sports clubs, NGOs and resort operators are also being invited to take part in the race.

Professional and amateur runners will be competing for respective cash prises, with other awards being presented to the most successful teams and schools. Special accolades will also be given for the oldest participant in the run.

More information on the race, as well as online application forms for both individual and team participants can be found on the event’s official site.