CategoriesGFAN Africa

Young Women and Girls Urge for Comprehensive Healthcare Services Amid COVID-19

On 12 November 2020, Positive Women Together in Action an organization in Eswatini held a roundtable discussion jointly organized with GFAN Africa on the impact of COVID-19 on young women and adolescent girls living with HIV. During the conversations, the young women and girls shared their experiences on accessing treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 33 participants from various support groups from different communities in the four regions of Eswatini spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on women and AGYW living with HIV.

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On a positive note, the multi-month dispensary of ART medication was implemented. Participants felt this was a positive impact of COVID-19 because before the pandemic they used to visit the healthcare centres for their refill and the cost was catastrophically high for them.

The young women and girls appreciated the food parcels and COVID-19 grant support being provided by the Government through the National disaster Management Agency (NDMA) and other organizations while others received financial support, which has never happened before the pandemic.

Discussing the negative impact of COVID-19, participants noted that there was an increase in the number of cases of gender-based violence during the lockdown period. “Partners spent their days together and started realizing each other’s shortfalls and this led to violence within homes” noted Thabisile Mavimbela. Stress, trauma, depression and general mental health challenges led to increased cases of gender-based violence.

‘’I have seen that our health sector has neglected other health conditions. Health workers deliver ART medication to our homes but why don’t they bring medication for other conditions so that they deliver a comprehensive service?’’ asked Cebsile Shabangu during the conversation.

The Government of Eswatini must sustain focus on all life threatening diseases amid COVID-19.

CategoriesBlog WACI Health News

TICAD VII: African leaders commit to reducing childhood stunting and all forms of malnutrition

Yokohama, 30 August 2019. TICAD is a platform for discussing important issues related to Africa’s development, and a process that allows all TICAD partners — African Union Member States, Japan, co-organizers and other development partners, private sector and civil society — to come together for the further development of the continent.

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The Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 which accompanies the The Yokohama Declaration 2019, lists actions expected to be implemented by the TICAD partners in order to promote focus areas of the three main pillars of the Yokohama Declaration 2019 adopted at TICAD 7.

As per the Yokohama Plan of action, African leadership has prioritized nutrition and with support from the government of Japan has specifically committed to reducing childhood stunning and all forms of malnutrition. According to the action plan, the Africa Regional Nutrition Strategy 2015-2025, is the African Union flagship initiative within which this commitment will be realized.

We at WACI Health join other civil society organizations in applauding the African leadership for their commitments towards improving health and nutrition outcomes in the region.  However, we are concerned that despite recent gains in addressing and lowering malnutrition on the African continent, many African nations are still facing increasing rates of childhood stunting and wasting.

The Continental Nutrition Accountability Scorecard is worrying with many member states lagging being on their nutrition targets. For example, we note with great concern that only two member states are on track on stunting targets.

We call upon the African leadership to act urgently towards increased investments in nutrition and deliver on their nutrition targets and commitments.

Contacts:

Rosemary Mburu- rosemary@wacihealth.org

Fitsum Alemayehu- fistum@wacihealth.org

 

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