CategoriesWACI Health News

The GFF We Want

The GFF We Want is a platform for Civil society in the GFF implementing countries which begun in 2018, which aims to leverage the knowledge and capacity of the civil society coalitions working on the GFF to capture lessons learned, identify best practices and strengthen cross- learning by leveraging key relationships and moments including the GFF Resource Mobilization Campaign to drive country level work and global commitments to mobilize resources and ensure the success of the GFF. The GFF We Want has been implementing key activities to support the GFF resource mobilization throughout 2021. The campaign has leveraged key moments such as Generation Equality Forum, United Nations General Assembly and looking forward to the Nutrition for Growth. The Global Civil Society coordinating Group Jointly with the GFF We Want launched the GFF Wall of Fame in September 2021. The GFF Wall of Fame is a virtual platform which aims to highlight and celebrate GFF successes, including: donor commitments, country government commitments, CSO and youth contributions to results in GFF countries, and other GFF progress. Here are a few stories of impact which can be found on the GFF We Want Wall of Fame;

● In April 2019, Côte d'Ivoire launched a nationwide dialogue about health financing.
FENOS-CI was one of the key actors and stakeholders from the health sector involved in
discussions that led to creating the National Platform for the Coordination of Health
Financing (PNCFS). The 1.658 trillion CFA Franc investment envelope supported three
Civil Society bodies: an investment committee, a technical secretariat, and technical
working groups. Funding will be directed to the communities' needs through the
platform, strengthening the Ivorian health system. As a result of the National Dialogue
meeting, the investment file was created, giving the donors a framework for funding the
healthcare priorities of their sectors.

● GFF processes assisted youth-led organizations and policymakers at the local and
national levels in Kenya to reduce duplication of resources and enhance effective
advocacy through SMART Health Policy leadership training. In addition to the FP 2030
commitments, the national Scaling Up Nutrition strategy (2021-2025) and the
reproductive health policy (2020-2030) were developed due to knowledge gained from
this project. The partners will collaborate closely to increase county FP budgets during
the next financial year.

● As part of the Youth and Adolescents Health Forum, UYAHF fosters youth advocacy and
research initiatives that improve access to, demand, and uptake youth-friendly services
and collects evidence about young people's experiences with youth-friendly services.
The youth advocacy plan and coordinated action plan were developed based on this
evidence. As a result of this study, young people contribute to, inform, and influence
decision-making processes. Youths are also using the evidence to highlight the lack of
youth-friendly services in lower health facilities, lack of short-term family planning
services. Based on the evidence, a cost-effective implementation plan for family
planning in Uganda is being evaluated. It is important to note that now young people
can hold policy makers for their promises and demands for improved health care for
adolescents at the district and national levels. In Eastern Mbale, Busia, Tororo, and
Butalejja districts, UYAHF, in partnership with the Eastern Regional Youth Network, has
held several district-level policy dialogues to improve access to youth-friendly sexual
and reproductive health services. As a result, in Butalejja, the district has agreed to
provide family planning services, condom distribution, HIV tests, and GBV screening at
trading centers with funds from the PHC non-wage budget and the RBF. At Butalejja,
policymakers from the chief's office participated in a dialogue with education, health,
production, cultural, and religious leaders and teachers, students, and media experts.

CategoriesWACI Health News

Global Fund@20 GFAN Torch Caravan

The GFAN Torch Caravan has gained momentum since leaving South Africa in July and now spans five regions and includes 15 African countries in Africa. Southern Africa – South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Malawi East Africa – Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda Central Africa – DRC, Cameroon, Niger, West Africa – Senegal, Burkina Faso (Current holder) —– Nigeria, Ghana (October)
The Torch will be in West Africa during October and be received in the MENA region – Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, in November. The engagements among key stakeholders have been remarkable with interactions from:

● MoH (Permanent Secretary) – Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Malawi
● Ministers’ of Health – Uganda (Health and Finance), Ethiopia, Malawi, Rwanda, DRC
● Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM)

WACI Health, the GFAN Africa secretariat is encouraged to see that every participating country included their CCM in receiving and handing over the Torch. Despite language barriers, political unrest, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Torch Caravan has traversed the continent. It is impossible to suppress the enthusiasm and appreciation shown during this journey of gratitude and hope. As a result, the campaign has enjoyed traditional and social media coverage, which has raised awareness. In addition, the Torch Caravan united communities from all walks of life in celebration and acknowledgement of the impact. Through parliamentary engagement, there is an increase in political will for the GF@20 campaign and strong collaboration as we work together towards the 7 th Replenishment. In addition, working with partners and stakeholders such as the British High Commission, TB HIV care, Malaria No More has built
stronger partnerships and collaborative efforts. The campaign strengthened partnerships between civil society, making it easier for them to collaborate in-country. A special highlight was when the Torch was received by Burkina Faso’s first-ever Olympic Champion, Hugues Fabrice Zango.

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The celebrations will continue with cake cutting, dancing and hope until the Cape to Cairo Torch caravan campaign will culminate on 8 December 2021 in Durban, South Africa, alongside ICASA 2021.

CategoriesWACI Health News

A dialogue with young women in Kenya on women-initiated HIV prevention options and Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.

In September 2021, WACI Health led a team of young women on a dialogue on women-initiated HIV prevention options and Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). Globally, these discussions are ongoing given the approval by WHO in July 2020, for the Dapivirine Vaginal Ring (DPV-VR) as an additional prevention choice for women at substantial risk of HIV infection as part of combination prevention approaches. Read more here. This news has since been considered a milestone in the quest to provide women with expanded choices for HIV prevention. Young women (aged 15-24), and adolescent girls (aged 10-19) in particular, account for a disproportionate number of new HIV infections. In sub-Saharan Africa, despite making up just 10% of the population, one out of every five new HIV infections happens among Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW). In the worst-affected countries, 80% of new HIV infections
among adolescents are among girls, who are up to eight times more likely to be living with HIV than adolescent boys. It is estimated that around 50 adolescent girls die every day from AIDS- related illnesses. Dapivirine Vaginal Ring is intended for prevention of New HIV infection via vaginal sex in HIV Negative women 18 years and older. The Vaginal Dapivirine ring contains an antiretroviral drug
called Dapivirine which is released slowly over the course of one month directly to vaginal tissues to help protect against HIV at the site of potential infection. Little of the drug is absorbed elsewhere in the body resulting in low systemic uptake. There are studies underway
examining the safety of a combined Dapivirine-levonorgestrel ring that would protect against HIV infection and unwanted pregnancy, as well as different vaginal rings that combine antiretroviral and other medications to prevent STIs. “Unlike other HIV prevention methods like use of condoms, this female controlled innovation gives full control to women to look after their safety,” she says. Biological and social factors contribute to high rates of infections among women. “The high number of infections among women does not mean they have riskier sexual behaviors compared to men” Gloria Mululu, Program Officer WACI Health The Dapivirine Ring (DVR) in Kenya and many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, initiative by advocates are ongoing thus calling for updating of ARV guidelines and Essential Medicines List to include Dapivirine Ring as other Regulatory national processes and approval are ongoing to
ensure access. The ring has currently been approved for use in Zimbabwe. This dialogue meeting resolved to have a campaign that looks at holistic needs of adolescent girls and Young Women’s HIV prevention and SRHR, Multipurpose HIV prevention, Protection of AGYW against Gender-based violence (GBV), and Inclusivity of women in all their diversities. “While a lot has been done to curb new HIV infections in the country, all stakeholders should move in and address the barriers to access HIV prevention options/tools by Adolescents, Girls and Young Women and be allowed to make a choice on which methods work for them. Dapivirine Ring is a game changer in women’s HIV prevention options. AGYW needs training as champions to lead on advocacy efforts towards country policy update and regulatory initiatives towards Dapivirine Ring access” Patricia Jeckoniah, Technical Advisor, Policy and Partnerships, LVCT. The vaginal ring is a complimentary prevention method in addition to other safe sex practices especially when women cannot access or use PrEP. It does not prevent infection from other sexually transmitted diseases or from pregnancy. “Four decades since the outbreak of HIV, the country has registered great strides in efforts to combat the virus. However, not much progress has been made around adolescents and young women, and time has come where scientists must include this demography as they develop HIV preventive methodologies. This subset is privy to Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV), and the young women movement must be well coordinated so that they are present in all spaces where their voices must be heard. They should be given opportunities to share their ideas about HIV mitigation, dealing with intimate partner violence amongst other issues related to SGBV. Further, the movement must ensure that girls are at the table every time their issues are being discussed, be ready to be mentored and ready to mentor other girls, especially in the rural communities. They must also be part of the research so that there is their representation in data gathering.” Faith FAO. Calling for safeguarding of the gains made in the fight against HIV new infections as we fight Covid 19, there is a need to invest around girls. There is a need to invest in capacity building, programs, exposure and money available to ensure that organizations can conduct their
activities. There is also a need to see how resources that are coming in are targeted to adolescent and young women programs towards building their capacity.

“For most adolescent girls and young
women, the availability of the ring
widens the pool of preventative options
to choose from. Young women are
diverse and have varied preferences.
The ring will improve the uptake and
access of HIV prevention products,”
Joyce Ouma, AVAC Fellow.

With- Me, in- me is an AGYW led campaign demanding expanded choice for HIV prevention for
AGYW and Sexual Reproductive health and Right (SRHR), Multipurpose HIV prevention tools,
protection against Gender-based violence (GBV), and Inclusivity of women in all their
diversities. The campaigns highlight challenges as faced by AGYW living with and impacted by
HIV and enhance the awareness among Health providers, policymakers, and youth-serving
organizations about the existing disparities.
“The greatest aspect about the Ring is its bodily autonomy. Nobody needs to know you are
using it hence giving you the power to be in charge of your own protection. This is a plus for
every woman and especially if you have started to develop trust issues with your sex partner”
Joyce Ng’ang’a, Policy advisor WACI Health.
For more information check this Reading Material

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