The meeting was held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 1-2 November 2017 and drew participants from Regional African Union Organs, Economic Communities (RECs), Regional Heal Health Organizations, UNAIDS, WHO, UNICEF, UNDP, The Global Fund, CHAI, and representatives from Civil Society and the private sector.
“We have the science and tools to end AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2030. The continental targets set for the three diseases can be achieved with sustained leadership, ownership, sustained financing, effective partnerships and accountability,” said Dr. Richard Kamwi, former health minister of Namibia who is the current Goodwill Ambassador of Elimination 8 and Africa CDC Champion.
ACB was represented at the meeting by the Policy Analyst, Mr. Josephat Kakoma, who also moderated a discussion on private sector engagement in health financing.
Key highlights from presentations and discussions revolved around the following:
• The plateauing Global Health funding and the implications for African countries to leverage resources from domestic avenues (in particular, for African countries to reach the Abuja target), the private sector including foundations, and other innovative financing mechanisms
• The critical role the private sector plays in creating solutions to health problems, including leveraging funding
• Malaria resurgence in some parts of Africa and the importance of regional grants to complement national ones
• While much progress has been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, reaching epidemic control in 2020 and eradicating it in 2030 requires accelerated efforts to protect human rights and gender equality, end stigma and discrimination, review discriminatory laws and promote access to justice for rights violations for all affected populations, especially for vulnerable populations not in the least including sex workers, women, AGYW, prisoners, IDUs and LGBTIs.
• Global fund replenishment and the need for African countries to play a critical role as champions, highlighting the impact against the diseases
The major outputs of the meeting include:
• Development of an action plan with key advocacy and resource mobilization priorities, opportunities for joint action, advocacy for continued political commitment and coordination of efforts of various stakeholders at the regional level.
• Adoption of an accountability mechanism to track progress on agreed priorities
• Input in the African Common Position to the United Nations General Assembly High Level meeting on Tuberculosis
The ACB’s continued participation in this forum is critical given the confluence of the UNGASS, Global Fund and AU in achieving infection control for HIV by 2020 and eradication of the three diseases by 2030. This should also be tied to strengthening the ACB Governance framework to ensure the organization is anchored at the highest leadership in Africa -the AU.