From Dakar to Praia: advocating for reinventing the response to HIV

date Published on 31/05/2022

DAY 1 - Praia hosts the regional meeting on revitalising the response to HIV/AIDS in West and Central Africa. The event takes place from 30 May to1 June 2022. The opening ceremony was chaired by the Prime Minister of Cape Verde in the presence of the First Lady. The Civil Society Institute for Health in West and Central Africa, which is organising this exchange framework, has succeeded in bringing together TFPs, decision-makers, programme beneficiaries and civil society actors for a revitalisation of the response to HIV in a changing context.

They all share the same concern for the elimination of barriers and other constraints to equitable access to health services and better care for populations vulnerable to HIV. The Civil Society Institute for Health in West and Central Africa, UNAIDS, the Global Fund, decision-makers and civil society actors all intend to work towards this goal.

For Dr José Ulisses Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cape Verde: "we must strengthen governance, overcome inequalities, fight stigma and all forms of violence for the respect of human dignity. He came to chair the regional meeting of the Civil Society Institute entitled From Dakar to Praia: Revitalising the response to HIV in a changing regional context, and was keen to set the tone and highlight the efforts made by Cape Verde in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV. These results were praised by the Executive Director of the Institute. Mr. Daouda Diouf invited all the member countries of the organisation to be inspired by this successful model. According to him, it is not acceptable that in the West African region, women continue to transmit HIV to their children, especially since treatments exist to prevent it. He added that for the time being, there is a need to co-create strategies that take into account all segments of the population, especially the vulnerable. An appeal that did not fall on deaf ears, UNAIDS, the Global Fund, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Expertise France, technical and financial partners, reiterated their commitment to support and accompany the Civil Society Institute in its daily work. Thomas Barbancey, Chargé d'Affaires at the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in Cabo Verde, said that his government devotes 15% of its official development assistance to global health.

The issue of equitable remuneration of civil society actors in the region is of concern to the Executive Director of the Institute. Mr. Daouda Diouf finds it inconceivable that some of them receive 15,000 CFA francs a month. This inequality needs to be corrected.

More than 200 experts and stakeholders from various backgrounds are meeting in Praia, Cape Verde for 3 days to discuss : Pediatric HIV, health systems financing, access to treatment for vulnerable populations during the different sessions. The aim is to adapt the response to HIV for vulnerable populations to African realities and to strengthen the mobilisation of donors around these issues.