CategoriesGFAN Africa

Thank you Netherlands for Contributing to the Global Fund

On 18 December, GFAN Africa and WACI Health visited the Embassy of Netherlands in Nairobi and presented a thank you letter, appreciating the country for their generous contribution towards the 6th replenishment of the Global Fund. Netherlands contribution of €156 million for the period 2020 – 2022 which will enable the Global Fund support countries in their efforts to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria and to save lives.

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Johnstone Kuya, the Senior Policy Officer in charge of strategic partnerships at the Embassy informed us that The Netherlands is keen on investing in HIV and AIDS, sexual and reproductive health and rights. Within these topics, the country has interests in prevention and care, key populations, and access to information and resources.

Acknowledging the huge role that civil society played in mobilizing resources towards the replenishment, Mr Kuya emphasized that there is urgent need for civil society to do high level targeted advocacy asking implementing countries to allocate more resources for health. It’s the only option in the face of dwindling donor funding as countries such as Kenya become middle income countries. “Governments must own take responsibility for the healthcare of their citizens” He underscored.

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UHC – We must #KeepThePromise to ensure #HealthForAll

12 December is Universal health coverage (UHC) day.  We call on world leaders to #KeepthePromise they made at the 2019 High-Level Meeting on UHC to achieve #HealthForAll by 2030. UHC ensures that all people, everywhere, can get the quality health services they need without facing financial hardship. It is fundamentally a political goal, rooted in the right to health. It is also one of the smartest investments any country can make.

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We call for strong, equitable health systems that leave no one behind. And now that leaders from every country have committed to Health for All once again, we remind them that they must put the needs of the poorest & most marginalized groups first, not last. 210 million people worldwide must spend >25% of their household budget to get the healthcare services they need. No one should have to choose between health & other necessities no matter their gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, ability or citizenship.

Everyone is entitled to the right care, at the right time, right in their communities. Health workers, young people and communities whose rights, needs and experiences have been sidelined for too long must be engaged. It’s one of the best ways to help people lead a healthy and prosperous life.

CategoriesBlog GFAN Africa

Civil Society’s Role Towards the 6th Replenishment of the Global Fund was Immense

On 2 December, GFAN Africa met with Peter Sands the Executive Director of The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on the sidelines of ICASA 2019 Rwanda and had conversations on the 6th replenishment of the Global Fund. The October 2019 replenishment raised $14.028 billion to help save 16 million lives and avert 234 million new HIV, tuberculosis and malaria infections in the next three years.

Peter acknowledged the enormous role that civil society played in advocacy in the run up to the replenishment, which led to increased contributions by implementing countries in Africa and ultimately, to a successful replenishment. A record 24 countries pledged towards the replenishment. In the build up to the replenishment conference, civil society organizations in Africa, had written letters to Presidents, Ministers for Health, Ministers for Finance and Ministers for Foreign Affairs, asking for early and increased contributions towards the replenishment. This is in addition to lobbying donor countries to increase their contributions.

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Peter emphasized that the focus of the Global Fund is to save lives and to prevent new infections.

Civil society organizations will give prominence to advocacy for implementing countries to increase their allocation of domestic resources for health. As the Global Fund increases allocations to implementing countries, they must also allocate more resources for health. This calls for long sustained action and ensuring broad spending on health to achieve universal healthcare coverage so that no one is left behind. Emphasis must be on primary healthcare and putting the last first especially those on the outskirts and in far flung areas. To ensure value for money, civil society must look out for where and how money is spent to ensure utmost appropriate use of resources.

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Climate Action – A Commitment to Less Plastic for Positive Health Outcomes

There is a weighty link between health and the environment. Health outcomes are linked to environmental risks such as poor quality of air, exposure to hazardous waste and chemicals as well as climate change.

To successfully tackle health challenges, we must also address matters environment. For example, to defeat malaria and tuberculosis and many non-communicable diseases, we must address environmental issues that make mosquitoes thrive and address the challenge of pollution.

Plastic pollution has become a major development challenge across the world. In Ghana, statistics from UNDP show that the country generates about 1 million tons of plastic waste annually. Out of this, only 2-5% are recycled.

Young Awareness Advocates Ghana, groomed by Hope for Future Generations (HFFG), a member of GFAN Africa focused on empowering women, children and youth have committed to help promote a sustainable environment by reducing the amount of waste they generate, both at home and in school.

“Reduce, reuse, recycle,” was the theme when advocates met the UNAIDS Ghana Country Director, Angela Trenton-Mbonde, in Accra, Ghana. The advocates took turns to make personal pledges to adopt better waste management practices in order to promote environmental sustainability.

“I commit to acquiring a personal reusable water bottle and to avoiding single-use plastic bottles. This, I believe, will safeguard the planet for everyone,” Pricilla Addo said.

Samuel Nyarko said “I pledge to personally ensure that waste generated in my household is well separated so that plastics can easily be collected and recycled. I will educate my schoolmates and community to do the same.”

Ms. Trenton-Mbonde encouraged the young people to ensure that their commitments to the planet are fulfilled. “For a sustainable environment, each of us must take personal responsibility and make one commitment, no matter how small and insignificant it may seem in the beginning, because in the end we are all connected: people and the planet,” she said.

Mrs Angela adressing the youth advocates

 

 

 

 

 

UNAIDS Ghana Country Director, Angela Trenton-Mbonde speaks to meeting participants

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Climate action advocates pose for a photo with the Executive Director of HFFG Ghana Ms. Cecilia Senoo (4th from right)

CategoriesBlog GFAN Africa

Olivia Ngou receives the #ReachAward from Bill Gates

Olivia Ngou, a member of GFAN Africa, who on 19th November received the #ReachAward as a Rising Champion says ‘I believe malaria elimination will not be possible unless the local communities and civil society are fully and meaningfully engaged, as they are the front liners and the ones present in areas where the health systems are unable to reach, working with them will help to save lives but also ensure universal coverage of interventions for communities at risk”.

Olivia is a skilled and passionate advocate for ending malaria in her home country of Cameroon and worldwide. Her advocacy efforts include engaging with a wide range of stakeholders, from students to Parliamentarians, to help them understand the importance of their role in ending malaria and galvanizing them to take action.

The Reach Award recognizes people who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership and commitment to disease elimination. The award is given by Reaching The Last Mile an organization that is committed to ending preventable diseases that affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities and helping millions of children and adults live healthy, dignified lives.

According to the 2018 Malaria report by WHO, in 2017, there were an estimated 219 million malaria cases worldwide. The report further posits that there was an 18% global decrease in malaria incidence between 2010 and 2017 and an estimated 28% decrease in global malaria deaths between 2010 and 2017.

There is a need for urgent action to get the malaria response back on track with countries most affected by malaria playing a very significant role. Besides, malaria must remain high on the political agenda, so that additional resources are mobilized and communities empowered to take ownership of malaria prevention and care.

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Olivia Ngou receives the #ReachAward from Bill Gates

Grateful #becauseyougave to the Global Fund

In November, the membership of GFAN Africa set aside a day of action when they said thank you to private sector organizations, Foundations, African Governments and donors; who contributed towards the successful 6th replenishment of the Global Fund which raised $14.028 billion.

Expressing gratitude for the strong commitment towards global health, GFAN Africa membership described the contributions as life – saving. They emphasized that the resources for the period 2020 – 2022 will reduce suffering, strengthen health security, and catalyze economic growth. The resources have equipped the Global Fund partnership to cut the mortality rate resulting from HIV, TB and malaria by half, avert 234 million new infections across the three diseases and save 16 million lives by 2023. Additionally, the funds will contribute to achieving universal healthcare coverage, the achievement of sustainable development goal three on the health and well-being of all, and indeed to building a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable world. A world in which no one is left behind.

While noting that African Governments doubled their contributions from the 5th replenishment, GFAN Africa membership underscored the need to increase the allocation of domestic resources for health, and highlighted that healthy citizens create wealth, leading to economic prosperity.

 

 

 

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CAPACITY BUILDING: RESEARCH AND ETHICS SERIES

On the 9th of October AfNHi (Africa Free of New HIV Infections) organized and facilitated a research ethics webinar that introduced AfNHi members to the principles of research ethics in Africa with an in-depth look into the role of community and advocates. The aim of this online training was to fast-track the biomedical HIV prevention research agenda so as to end the HIV epidemic in Africa.

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With the awareness created from the comprehensive dive into demystifying clinical trials, this initiative allows AfNHi members to meaningfully engage with the research process and knowledgeably inform and mobilize communities, researchers or policy makers. Studies have shown that clinical research is more likely to succeed when all stakeholders regard the research as relevant and the process as collaborative.

These ongoing series of research ethics webinars will continue to ensure that AfNHi members are in a better position to appreciate and understand clinical trials, and apply these to support research through their engagements with stakeholders during the entire life-cycle of a biomedical HIV prevention trial, and beyond.

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CSOs in Francophone Africa, in action advocating for a strong advocacy for the replenishment of the Global Fund!

#Accéléronslemouvement

September 19th 2019! Francophone African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) joined forces and actively participated in a day of action set by GFAN AFRICA. Indeed, via the networks GFAN AFRICA & CS4ME, CSOs gathered the signatures of 110 CSOs colleagues from 14 francophone African countries on letters addressed to the Presidents of African countries, asking them to #stepupthefight and participate and contribute to the success of the replenishment of the Global Fund. Following the presidential letters, coordinated by Impact Santé Afrique, CSOs from Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast held press conferences in their respective countries to push for increase of domestic contributions and highlight the importance of these funds for the end of the epidemics n of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

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                                                                                                      Francophone African CSOs participate in a day of action

We  thank all the CSOs and mainly the coordinators in each country (ROAFEM, APDSP, OFIF ,Affirmative Action, PHIIC, AJEP, Club des Amis du Monde, POSSaV, RACOj, FENOS CI , ASAPSU, Dimension Humaine, RMAP+, RENAPS AJ, POLICIS, ONEN, SongES, FARHAN, MVS, plate-forme DES-ICI) whose efforts have contributed certainty to Africa’s strong participation in the Lyon Conference for the first time, an unprecedented record was set: the historic contribution of 24 African countries!

CategoriesBlog GFAN Africa

Civil Society Conversations on Resources for Health

On 23 July in Nairobi, Kenya, WACI Health and KANCO hosted CSOs from Kenya who were joined by GFAN Africa representatives from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Rwanda and Tanzania  for a candid discussion on the 6th Replenishment of the Global Fund and Domestic Resources for Health. The event – a panel discussion by representatives of communities, youth, civil society, and embassy of France, the Global Fund and Government discussed Kenya’s health financing status and why the Global Fund is a worthwhile investment.

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There was emphasis on the need for a successful 6th replenishment of The Global Fund because it is efficient and effective. In addition a successful replenishment will contribute to:

  • Reduce mortality from HIV, TB and malaria
  • Saving millions of lives
  • Reduce and avert new infections

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Inaction will result in the loss of millions of lives and loss of gains made so far.

Participants thanked France for its leadership by offering to host the replenishment conference scheduled for 9 October 2019 in Lyon, France and for calling on other donors to step up their fight in order to ensure a successful replenishment.

France is a big investor in the Global Fund because the Fund’s work saves and improves lives. “Increasing funding for the replenishment of the Global Fund will move us to a better place in healthcare. Tax payers in France, sacrifice for others to improve their lives through better health’ Said Dr Pierre Bello – Health Advisor, Embassy of France. He added that Kenya has a strong political will for a successful UHC and must take advantage of the external funding opportunities, to build stronger and stable systems of healthcare.

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Through the support of the Global Fund, Kenya has better healthcare – systems, disease interventions and programs for the most vulnerable populations. Support to Kenya reaches those who need it – communities. Grace Adego, a community health volunteer – a panelist expressed her gratitude for the free ARVs she receives.

Regina Ombam – the Deputy Director, HIV Investments National AIDS Control Council noted that Kenya is a lower middle income country so donor financing is gradually dwindling. There is need for increased allocation of domestic resources for health so that existing funding gaps do not grow bigger. She noted that the Government of Kenya is increasing health financing and giving healthcare more attention and focus.

Ms Obam challenged those present:

  • To think of the possibility of a replenishment conference for Kenya – with Kenya government & stakeholders, to discuss the health of Kenyans and how to fund it in future.
  • That civil society should keep government in check more vigorously
  • Civil society voices are needed to end corruption in public finance management systems and to push for more resources.
  • There should be emphasis of integration within Government to stop wastage while implementing healthcare interventions.
  • The private sector should play a bigger role in complementing healthcare financing.
  • The Government should consider entering into social contracts with major funders of health programmes
  • There should be focus on disease prevention

Ms Fahe Kerubo a young girl note that HIV interventions are commendable. However, infections among adolescent girls and young women remain unacceptably high. Increased funding for health should address this challenge.  The youth must be prioritized and put at the center of the HIV response.

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There was a rallying call for additional resources for health from donors and the Government of Kenya and other implementing countries. The need for preventing healthcare was emphasized. Increased focus on health will lead towards a successful UHC and progress towards SDG3 on the health and wellbeing of all.

CategoriesBlog GFAN Africa

Day of Action for African Governments

On 19th September, 2019 Global Fund Advocates Network in Africa (GFAN_Africa ) in collaboration with WACI Health organized a day of advocacy dubbed Day of Action for African Governments. Members of the Network delivered letters to Presidents of African Countries asking them to contribute to the 6th replenishment of the Global Fund and to allocate additional domestic resources for health.

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Some of the letters which were delivered to Presidents

The replenishment conference will take place on 9 October in Lyon, France and seeks to raise at least 14 billion to be able to #getbackontrack to defeat HIV, Tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics. These resources will help save 16 million lives, cut the mortality rate from HIV, TB and malaria by half, and build stronger health systems by 2023. Further, resources for health will contribute to achieving Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goal 3 on the health and wellbeing of all.

The ambitious target to eradicate the three epidemics in Africa can only be achieved if there is greater government ownership in ensuring that their countries fund programs and meet their national target in the global progress to eliminate the diseases to sustain gains made so far and make further progress.

GFAN Africa members in the following countries delivered letters to their presidents with copies to the Ministers for Finance, Ministers for Health and parliamentary committees for health and budget – Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Nigeria, Eswatini, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Congo and Ghana.

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#teamCameroon after they delivered the letter
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Sylla from GFAN Africa in Guinée speaks to the media on domestic resources for health

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