CategoriesGFAN Africa

Domestic Resource Mobilization and Achieving Sustainable Health Financing in Africa

The GFAN Africa ICASA 2023 side meeting themed: “Domestic Resource Mobilization and Achieving Sustainable Health Financing in Africa” attended by various stakeholders, including representatives from WACI Health, the Stop TB Partnership Kenya, the Global Fund Secretariat, the Ministry of Health Zimbabwe, and numerous civil society organizations, key discussions unfolded that highlighted both the progress and challenges in the regional and global health sector, particularly in Domestic Resource Mobilization and Achieving Sustainable Health Financing in Africa

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Ms. Evaline Kibuchi from WACI Health opened the meeting with a reflective note on the journey thus far. She emphasized the significant strides made in medical research, human rights, and saving lives. Ms Kibuchi pointed out that these achievements were largely due to the relentless advocacy by civil society and the indispensable support of donors. She urged everyone to maintain this momentum to meet the ambitious 2030 targets.

Following her, Mr. Peter Sands from the Global Fund Secretariat took the stage. He acknowledged the pivotal role of community advocates and civil society in reaching health goals. However, he brought to light a critical challenge – the stagnating, and in some places, declining funding for HIV, overshadowed by other global priorities like climate change and civil conflicts. Mr. Sands called for intensified advocacy to keep HIV high on the global health agenda.

The keynote address was delivered by Hon Dr. Douglas Mombeshora, the Minister of Health and Child Care of Zimbabwe. He painted a stark picture of the health crises in Africa, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite these challenges, he proudly shared Zimbabwe’s success in scaling up HIV prevention and treatment, closely approaching the 95-95-95 targets for adults. He stressed the need for sustainable health financing and innovation in health research and development.

Mr. Itai Rusike from the Community Working Group on Health provided an insightful perspective on the situation in Zimbabwe. He highlighted the substantial support received from the Global Fund and emphasized the crucial role of community involvement in health decision-making. Mr. Rusike also expressed concern over the cancellation of the planned People’s March, viewing it as a limitation on civil society expression.

The open plenary session that followed brought up critical issues regarding the role and challenges faced by civil society in health and human rights advocacy. A collective sentiment emerged. There was a strong call for a unified message to funders and the ICASA Secretariat, emphasizing the need for civil society’s voice and participation in shaping health agendas. A consensus was reached on the use of digital platforms for safe advocacy as well as a strong collective statement on the cancellation of the march and infringement of rights.

This meeting was a testament to the collaborative efforts in the global fight against diseases and the recognition of the hurdles that still lie ahead. It underscored the importance of continued advocacy, strategic funding, and the empowering role of civil society in steering towards the 2030 health targets.

 

CategoriesGFAN Africa

Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum (BHPF) 2023

Themed: Unlocking the Power of Choice in HIV Prevention Research

The 6th Biomedical HIV Prevention Forum (BHPF) was held on December 3rd in Harare, Zimbabwe as an official pre-conference of ICASA, the forum was hybrid, allowing participants to engage both in-person and virtually. With the theme & Unlocking the Power of Choice in HIV Prevention research," the forum delved into the latest advancements, challenges, and opportunities in biomedical HIV prevention while underscoring the transformative impact of offering a variety of options to make choice a reality. The thematic areas of the forum included i.) sharing on the HIV prevention research pipeline, ii.) exploring investments and funding mechanisms for choice, iii.) introducing the concept of the choice agenda in HIV prevention, and iv.) strengthening African-led advocacy for expanded access to diverse prevention options.

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In addition to the main event, mini BHPF events were held in Côte d'Ivoire, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Rwanda. These events facilitated robust discussions at the country level on unlocking choices in HIV prevention. The discussions and recommendations generated during the forum will be synthesized into an outcome report and blogs, and disseminated to
partners, funders, advocates, and stakeholders to inform and drive further advocacy efforts. BHPF is organized by AfNHi, with technical and financial support from a dedicated steering committee and partner organizations such as APHA, AVAC, CASPR, Children Investment Fund Foundation, Frontline AIDS, GNP+, HVTN, IAVI, IPM, NHVMAS, Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS and Health Promotion, SAA, Alliance Cote d’Ivoire, Rinda UBUZIMA, and WACI
Health. The collaboration underscores the collective commitment to addressing the complexities of HIV prevention and advancing the global goal of ending AIDS by 2030.

CategoriesGFAN Africa

Unite Africa Solidarity: Fostering Unity and Support for Uganda’s LGBTQ+ Community

In the heart of a virtual gathering on July 26th, 2023, a powerful movement unfolded – united African advocates in solidarity with our comrades in Uganda. Advocates from diverse corners of Africa united for a common cause: standing in solidarity with Uganda’s marginalized LGBTQ+ community. This was no ordinary day; it was an extraordinary assembly of voices, ideas, and passion, aimed at combating the discriminatory Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 that was  passed on 29 May 2023.

Amid the global pursuit to end AIDS by 2030, Uganda emerged as a beacon of progress in the fight against HIV. However, the recent enactment of the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Act 2023 threatens to undo these hard-fought gains. The Act, laden with severe punishments including the death penalty for homosexuality, has cast a shadow over marginalized communities, particularly the LGBTQ+ individuals who are already grappling with prejudice.

Comrades from diverse corners of Africa mobilized for a Regional Day of Action – a resounding call for unity, awareness, and advocacy. Comrades across Africa rallied to express their unwavering support for Uganda’s LGBTQ+ community and to highlight the far-reaching repercussions of the Act on public health and human rights.

In a remarkable display of unity, community representatives, civil society organizations, activists, and stakeholders convened in South Africa’s Uganda High Commission. Here, stories and testimonies were shared, illustrating the real impact of discriminatory legislation on public health efforts. The gathering wasn’t just about discussing challenges; it was a testament to the resilience of those standing against oppression.

These very same stories were amplified virtually and the flame of solidarity extended beyond borders. Throughout the region, a virtual Twitterthon resonated with messages of support, using social media as a dynamic platform to amplify the voices of unity and advocacy.\ddd

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Comrades from Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and beyond joined hands, united in the digital realm.

With the vigor of a rallying cry, an advocacy campaign was launched. Policymakers, health authorities, and international organizations were engaged in a coordinated effort to apply pressure on the Ugandan government to repeal the Act and uphold the values of human rights and inclusivity.

The climax of this regional day of action was with the Virtual Extraordinary Meeting. Comrades gathered to debrief on the Regional Day of Action, gain insights from the Uganda Representative about the ground situation, and discuss the legal perspective on the Act. Allies from various sectors – the LGBTQ+ Community, Religious Leaders, Sonke Gender Justice, Policy Makers, and NGO Delegation to GF Board – expressed unwavering support and solidarity.

This union of voices, ideas, and determination paints a vivid picture of unity in diversity. The struggle against discriminatory laws is not isolated to Uganda alone; it echoes across the continent. Our call to all African Governments is to uphold the dignity and fundamental rights of their citizens .

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Appreciation goes out to the planning partners 

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CategoriesGFAN Africa

GFAN Africa at the GFAN Pledging Conference Pre Meetings

Civil society and communities from around the world are meeting over the next few days in the lead up to the replenishment conference.  This is in the lead up to the largest funding request to Global Fund donors requesting an increase the resources pledged to the Global Fund

The purpose of the meeting was to reflect on the impact of the global fund and the pitfalls if we are unable to raise the minimum amount of 18 billion in order to get back on track to ending HIV TB and Malaria. It is an opportunity that created a safe space where honest conversations can be had.

Testimonies from the civil society highlighted that the Global fund has invested resources to enable communities and key populations to access to prevention. diagnosis and treatment services. Some of the tools and commodities mentioned include mosquito nets, rapid diagnostic tests and new treatment regimens that improve the quality of life for many patients. They have supported community and key population participation in the country coordinating mechanisms facilitating the strengthening of community systems and community led monitoring which improves accountability.aaaa

The investments have been keen to ensure no one is left behind including communities that live in rural areas and may have a harder time to access the services, People who use Drugs (PWUD), refugees, sex workers and the LGBTIA+ community who in some countries may not be traditionally included in national budgets. These life saving interventions are key to ensuring that we get back on track to ending the epidemics through a people centred approach

 

In the lead up to the pledging conference, communities and civil society are reaching out leaders globally to remind them that without their increased investment into health, backtracking of human rights and access to essential services is inevitable. This will have a snow balling effect that will include less sensitization, treatment and prevention services. The people centred approach will crumble as Funding for community led monitoring, organisations and networks will disappear while reducing the time we have to respond to the looming microbial resistance making it treatment harder and more expensive.

Ultimately more death, unnecessary loss of life.

As we continue drum beating towards a successful replenishment, we call on all communities and civil society to reach out to their leaders and ensure increased allocations and resources towards domestic resources for health.

Every life counts, every voice counts and every cent counts.

Invest In the Global Fund to save lives. #MeetTheTarget

CategoriesGFAN Africa

The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria: 44 million lives saved, 20 million lives at stake

As part of the global drive to see progress in the fight HIV,TB and malaria accelerate and deliver a strong message to African leaders in  the mid-year coordinating meeting for the African Uion and Regional Economic Communities. Hundreds of people join a continental march to use the power of their voice to demand for increased domestic resource mobilization and commitments to meet the $$ 18billion global fund target. These collective voices represented the urgency to galvanise action and boost financial pledges.”

The match was flagged off by the Minister of Health Hon Sylvia Masebo, civil society, religious leaders, private sector and young people. These voices unite to inspire urgent public and political action to step up the fight in the run up to a critical moment for funding – the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Replenishment conference in September in New York.  

The match serves as timely reminder to the African leaders ahead of the AU summit about the devastating impact of the three diseases.  ‘With the right leadership, tools and funding, millions of  lives continue to saved! This is critical in the delivery and action on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and represents an important moment towards achieving SDG 3 – to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages – as well as accelerating progress against multiple other SDGs and achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC).’ Rosemary Mburu

It is important to note that the Global Fund’s target of at least US $18 billion includes funding from the private sector. However – these three diseases are huge global problems and they need a global large-scale approach. We need all hands-on deck! We definitely cannot take on this challenge on piece meal. The Global Fund operates in over 100 countries, across the world building on why it is best placed to take on this global epidemic. 

In recent months it has been exciting to see other countries step up and increase their commitment to the Global Fund for the next three years. Against this backdrop we urge the African governments to demonstrate continued global leadership in the fight against these three epidemics by increasing the overall contribution by 30% to Global Fund and to domestic resources for health. 

The purpose of the march is to accelerate and maintain momentum on the push for a fully replenished Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The pledge from African states will bring our countries one step closer to keeping the promise on achieving better health care for all by 2030.  Achieving the hugely ambitious goal – which will prevent xx cases and save xx lives.  

“We have a real and rare opportunity to be a part of ending this diseases and changing history, which is why I’m so delighted to call on leaders to step up their support for the Global Fund ,” said Evaline Kibuchi of Stop TB. 

In addition to its immediate life-saving impact, funding the Global Fund will also help to boost economic growth and enable countries to take ownership of tackling their own disease burden. The Global Fund is a smart investment and remains a highly effective mechanism for investment in global health and security. The Global Fund delivers strong value for money. This includes leveraging domestic investments in health from countries affected by the three diseases. More than one-third of the Global Fund’s investments go to building resilient and sustainable systems for health, which have a powerful multiplier effect, not only on people’s overall health status but also on countries as a whole.

Investment by African leaders through the Global Fund has been a critical driver of progress to date and will be essential to staying on the right side of the tipping point. The current trajectory of progress could fall away, costing millions of lives and billions of dollars, or we could seize the opportunity to accelerate action to reach the globally agreed goals on AIDS, TB and malaria by 2030. 

 

CategoriesGFAN Africa WACI Health News

CHOGM: GFAN Africa joins parliamentary delegation for a study tour to Bugesera district in Rwanda

GFAN Africa Members were part of a delegation to Bugesera District in the Eastern Province of Rwanda for a study tour led by the Rwanda Ministry of Health through Rwanda Biomedical Center and CCM Rwanda. The delegation included Members of Parliament from United Kingdom; Zimbabwe. A delegation from Global Fund and Malaria No More UK; and Rwanda CSOs. The delegation set out to learn about the Malaria response in the Rwanda.

WhatsApp Image 2022 06 23 at 7.53.53 AMThe study tour included visiting the Health Center which demonstrated how they treat various diseases including malaria. The experience sharing and learning sessions gave the delegation the opportunity to interact with the Healthcare Providers at the Health Center and Community Health Workers who support and deliver health services.

This included passionate community field workers, like Mary who has been a Community Healthcare Worker since 2003 who reiterated the joy and pride she gets from interacting with former malaria patients who were now healthy and happy.

The study tour was an important reminder of the effectiveness of strong health systems in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases for communities. It strengthened the civil society and community resolve to continue fighting for what counts, to have strong and resilient health systems that can respond to any pandemic and continue saving the lives of people in Bugesera district, Rwanda and all over the world

CategoriesGFAN Africa

Young People Take on the Global Week of Action

During the Global Action week, WACI Health convened a young people round table dubbed youth extravaganza that brought together differPicture1ent youth organizations ,adolescent girls ,and young women in Kenya  to learn more on how they could contribute to the success  of the Global fund objectives of fighting HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. The meeting was an opportunity for the participants to interact with representatives from  from the Global Fund Secretariat ,and the Global Fund Advocates Network in Africa and to join in a fun filled activity of folding paper origamis that would later be sent to the embassies in solidarity ,and messaging of the 7th replenishment campaign.

From the meeting, the young people learnt that the Global Fund is involving young people through the youth council ,and through utilizing social media platforms to amplify the voices of young people to be involved in the #FightForWhatCounts campaign.

For the seventh replenishment the Global Fund needs a minimum of US$18 billion to get the world back on track toward ending HIV, TB ,and Malaria to build resilient ,sustainable systems for health ,and strengthen pandemic preparedness. The Global Fund investment case lays out important milestones ,and highlights the need to invest more funds into the Global Fund  as the main strategy to fight for what counts and protect everyone, everywhere from the deadliest infectious diseases and build a healthier, more equitable world.

Investing in health and community systems and specifically in pandemic preparedness is above all about making smart and sustainable investments in people. Putting people and communities at the center helps build the trust that is the vital foundation for any pandemic response. By combining increased investment in HIV, TB ,and Malaria interventions and strengthening systems for health with additional investments in pandemic preparedness through the Global Fund, we should maximize the impact of every dollar. Through this, we stand a chance of having a return on investment, i.e., for every dollar given 31 dollars will be given back in return once healthcare systems are fully inclusive ,and operational.

Often the role of the youth is ceremonial or relegated to social media ,and communication while they have the capacity to engage in the decision making processes. The Global Fund Youth Council is working with young people to bring out the unique perspective ,and collate inputs on how services can be improved for young people including young key populations. Young people will work with the Global Fund on innovative, person centered approaches to reach young people in all their diversity affected by the three diseases.

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Now is the time to fight for what counts, to get back on track to ending the pandemics so the beat loudly ,and proudly continues for healthy communities and a more equitable world free from fear of deadly infections.

To join the network of young people engaged in the Global Fund replenishment fill in your details in the link here 

CategoriesGFAN Africa

COMMUNITIES AND CIVIL SOCIETIES CONVENE IN SUPPORT OF THE GLOBAL FUND 7th REPLENISHMENT

Over 20 years of the existence of the Global Fund partnership, the world’s largest multilateral investor in grants for systems for health, communities and civil society has made extraordinary progress in the fight against HIV, TB, and Malaria. The Global Fund Advocates network in Africa hosted pre-preparatory meetings of the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment 2024-2026 on the 21st and 22nd of February 2022 in Nairobi, Kenya.

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Communities and civil society partners from Africa and the world convened to reflect on the status of HIV, TB, Malaria, and health systems in the region, see how the 20 years of Global Fund being in existence have impacted lives, and look at prospects for health financing in Africa. Other agendas of the meeting included discussing Global Fund’s seventh replenishment preparatory meeting and key messaging, as well as discussing strategies and key actions to take forward, leading up to the replenishment.

 

According to the Results 2021 report, as of 2020 over 44 million lives have been saved, with 219 million people on antiretroviral therapy for HIV, 4.7 million people received TB treatment and 188 million mosquito nets were distributed in 2020. In the report, there was a clear decrease in case finding and preventive services across all 3 epidemics responses due to COVID-19. COVID-19 is threatening the progress made so far on the journey of epidemic control. It has had such a huge impact on the three diseases, and as a result disrupted crucial health services, such as testing, and access to treatment services, and commodities. This has placed the countries at risk of increasing their incidence rate. Trends indicate that services are progressively resuming but we must significantly increase our effort to regain progress lost in 2020 and get back on track to ending the three pandemics by 2030.

bDespite the interruptions caused by COVID-19, both civil society and communities concurred that now more than ever, Governments need to increase their allocations for health and consequently their pledges and contributions to the Global Fund. The 6th Global Fund replenishment had presented an unprecedented and bold ask of USD $14 Billion as the world’s health security needs more funds to prevent future interruptions by pandemics.

Prospects for sustainable health financing in Africa rely heavily on Increased domestic resources for health by governments to enhance resilient health systems and invest in health research development and innovation while working with government, the civil society and communities. Countries were strongly encouraged to strengthen attention to sustainability in their national planning and program design with support from the Global Fund and partners as necessary.

Some of the major discussion points in the meeting were: How Global Fund can better work with communities and civil society organizations, how different stakeholders such as policy makers and young people can participate and be engaged in 7th replenishment advocacy to ensure a successful replenishment. These key messages, strategies and tactics developed would be used in the lead up to the replenishment conference.c

The discussions also highlighted the need for countries to honor pledges. Amongst the issues concluded were, strategies on how to encourage countries that pledge, and honor their pledges to continue donating, and advocate for countries that pledge, and have a history of not honoring their pledges to do so.

In the Lead up to the Global Fund 7th Replenishment, communities and civil society proudly and loudly stand boldly with the Global Fund in asking for USD $18 Billion to fast track the fight to end HIV, TB and Malaria in the context of COVID-19 and future pandemics.

 

Written by Elizabeth Wangui & WACI Health

ENDS

CategoriesGFAN Africa

Preparatory Meeting of the Seventh Replenishment of the Global Fund

Civil Society for Malaria Elimination (CS4ME), Global Fund Advocates Network Africa (GFAN Africa),
Global Fund Advocates Network Asia-Pacific (GFAN AP), along with communities and civil society living
with, affected by and vulnerable to HIV, TB and malaria extends our heartiest congratulations to their
Excellencies, the Presidents of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic
of Rwanda, the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of South Africa for hosting the Preparatory
Meeting of the Seventh Replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
(Global Fund).
The Global Fund Seventh Replenishment Preparatory Meeting which will take place on the 23rd and
24th of February 2022, marks an important milestone in the Replenishment cycle of the Global Fund
with the launching of the Investment Case. Following the first time a Preparatory Meeting was hosted
by an implementing country, the Republic of India, for the Sixth Replenishment in 2019, this will be

the first time in the 20 years history of the Global Fund whereby five implementing countries are co-
hosting the Preparatory Meeting – a clear indication of the crucial role played by implementing

countries and the support towards the Global Fund even as we continue in our fight against HIV, TB
and malaria as epidemics amidst COVID-19.

The Global Fund Advocates Network (GFAN) in its “Fully Fund the Global Fund: Get Back on Track to
End AIDS, TB and Malaria in a COVID World” report estimates that to close the gaps and get back on
track the HIV, TB and Malaria responses, the Global Fund will need at least USD 28.5 billion for the
period 2023-2025, which includes USD 1.5 billion to support community-led programmes that are the
foundation of success.
Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, national and global HIV, TB and malaria investments and
responses were not on track to achieve 2030 targets. The pandemic exacerbated the situation by
diverting limited resources and disrupted the access to and provision of health services across the
world, threatening to reverse the hard-earned gains achieved against the three diseases. Between
April and September 2020, compared to the same six-month period in 2019, HIV testing fell by 41%;
TB referrals declined by 59%; and malaria diagnoses fell by 31%. The effects if not urgently and
adequately addressed, will push the three responses off track and will prevent us from achieving 2030
targets.

The decisive responses of the Global Fund to COVID-19, through its 5% Grant Flexibilities and COVID-
19 Response Mechanism (C19RM) initiatives, ensured that implementing countries including low- and

lower-middle income nations are supported to not only fight COVID-19 but also to protect progress
against HIV, TB and malaria. In the face of the worst health emergency in recent world history,
community systems supported and strengthened by the Global Fund over the past 20 years proved
their indispensability by linking key and vulnerable populations to HIV, TB and malaria services during
lockdowns and curfews and ensuring continued services, preventing disruptions.
The collaborative hosting of the Global Fund Seventh Replenishment by Global Fund implementing
countries: the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of South Africa is a strong call for all stakeholders of the Global
Fund to rally towards a successful Seventh Replenishment to fight the three diseases, support
community-led programmes that are the foundation of success, achieve Universal Health Coverage
(UHC) for key and vulnerable populations, protect and promote human rights and gender equality,
and create resilient and sustainable systems for health.
CS4ME, GFAN Africa, and GFAN AP, along with communities and civil society from our regions express
our full support to the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda,
the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of South Africa and the Global Fund for a successful Seventh
Replenishment Preparatory Meeting and urge all donors and stakeholders to join forces to contribute
to this global cause because…

CategoriesGFAN Africa

The Seventh Replenishment

GFAN Africa and Global Fund are working together to ensure successful 7 th Replenishment of
the Global Fund as 2022 is the Replenishment year for the period 2023-2025. These are in
support of President Joe Biden's decision to host the Global Fund’s Seventh Replenishment
Conference in the United States in the second half of 2022. The Conference, held every three
years, convenes leaders from governments, civil society, the private sector and communities
affected by the three most devastating infectious diseases.
Global Fund is co-hosting the Preparatory Meeting with their Excellency’s the Presidents of the
Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Kenya, the Republic of Rwanda, the
Republic of Senegal and the Republic of South Africa, virtually on the 23-24 th of February 2022
from 1:00 to 4:00 PM CET.
The Preparatory Meeting will bring the Global Fund partnership together to review its 20 years
of impact and lay the groundwork for its Seventh Replenishment. It will provide the opportunity
for governments, non-governmental organizations, civil society, multilateral and bilateral
agencies, private foundations, the private sector, and affected communities to discuss what it will
take to achieve the vision of a world free of HIV, TB, and malaria. Participants will also discuss
how the partnership can contribute to making the world better prepared to face future pandemics.
The Seventh Replenishment Investment Case will be launched at this meeting.
GFAN Africa will host a series of Civil Society Pre-Preparatory Meetings, which will bring
Global Fund advocates together to reflect on 20 years of impact, review the Seventh
Replenishment Investment Case, discuss messages, and plan of action. The Civil Society Pre-
Preparatory sessions will be held on 21&22 nd of February as a hybrid meeting in Nairobi-Kenya.
Provision is made for an Africa Civil Society organizations meeting to hold National Meetings
between 16-18 th of February in 5 co-hosting countries. This will provide the opportunity for
communities and civil society in these countries to reflect on the Global Fund’s 20 years of
impact, plan and support country activities, and briefing on the Seventh Replenishment and firm
up campaign plan/strategy.

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