At the political and geographical level, the growing interdependence between West and Central African countries should not be hampered by linguistic diversity and colonial legacies, as regional integrations in key areas such as health are needed.
While most WCA countries are moving towards a demographic transition, their health systems are still weak, inequitable, underfunded and unable to meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable populations.
It is important to place the need for regional integration and coordination in the context of the global and regional commitments demanded by civil society and community patient networks and accepted by governments in the region. The implementation of universal health coverage, as outlined in the Alma Ata principles, the Bamako Initiative, Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, the Political Declaration and others, in our national plans must include the gains and achievements of national and local civil society-led responses to HIV. The vertical approach that has been very effective and has saved lives must not be lost in the transition to a comprehensive and integrated health system.
Moreover, while there is undoubtedly a regional coherence in WCA, some sub-regions have their own specificities. In the Sahelian zone, for example, the security situation has made the provision of prevention and care services even more complex and inequitable. Areas of armed conflict or post-conflict are also marked by a lasting disintegration of health service provision.
The migration phenomena that have developed in recent years exacerbate the complexity of the contexts in which health interventions must be implemented.
The response to the HIV epidemic in the WCA region is characterised by a wide range of contexts: epidemiology, socio-political environment, economic, security and climate issues, human rights and gender, geographical mobility and cross-border migration, etc. The specific situations in each country should not, however, obscure the salient points around which it is essential to act. However, the specific situations of each country should not obscure the salient points around which it is essential to act: