In June 2009, 60 civil society organizations in Africa, including, AIDS Service Organizations, TB focused organizations, networks of People Living with HIV, networks of key populations particularly sex workers and men having sex with men, Faith Based organizations and human rights groups launched a Regional Platform on Universal Access to HIV Prevention, Treatment Care and Support.
The platform brings together an equitable and inclusive range of African civil society partners to support strengthened coordination and participation in regional processes in order to amplify the African voice in the Global HIV and Health agenda; and hold governments and policy makers accountable for decisions and commitments made on Universal Access.
At the March 2012 Health Financing Meeting preceded by a Regional Platform committee meeting it was agreed that the platform would evolve from a “disease specific” platform to a genuine Health Platform necessitated by the broader scope of current platform campaigns. This will ensure that the platform continues to bring together all of civil society role players to campaign and that one of the platforms key objectives would remain domestic resource mobilisation for health.
An implementation framework was developed for an 18 month period which has now been extended to 2013. A review and strategic planning process is in the pipeline that would shape the next 5 years of the platforms key advocacy. This would include the selection of key countries to strengthen and sustain civil society health platforms built on the same political premise of equitable and inclusive leadership. The platform, hosted by World AIDS Campaign International, is steered by a coordinating committee and has an active Co-ordinator.
The Regional Platform aims to:
1. Significantly increase and sustain advocacy efforts to hold governments accountable to their commitments to the Abuja 15% for health declaration and all subsequent Health and HIV plans and commitments set at Regional Level.
2. Promote the enforcement and protection of a human rights based approach to health service delivery toward all key populations.
3. Increase civil society engagement in ensuring universal access and MDG targets are achieved and consultation on the sustainable development agenda Post 2015 is considerate of Health and HIV.
What has it achieved?
The platform has organized high impact advocacy activities during the following key mobilizing moments:
1. Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights in Addis Ababa, 2010
2. World Economic Forum, Africa Summit in Dar es Salaam, 2010
3. African Union Heads of States Summit in Kampala, 2010
4. International AIDS conference in Vienna, 2010 campaigns focused on human rights and Abuja 2015.
5. High Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on HIV&AIDS, 2011
6. ICASA in Addis December 2011 – focused on a Health Financing Campaign
7. 4th Inter-Agency Meeting on HIV, TB & Malaria at the African Union in Addis 2012
8. Regional meeting on sustainable predictable Health Financing, Cape Town 2012
9. Universal Access to Quality Health Services in Africa: African Civil Society Call to the African Heads of State at the 19th African Union Summit, July 2012. Addis
10. International AIDS Conference in Washington, 2012 campaigns focused on sustainable Health Financing.
11. UNGASS September 2012 – Assessing the progress on the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS Article 86 – 95 speak to Resources for HIV.
12. Workshop on New Prevention Technologies, organized by World AIDS Campaign International with the Regional Civil Society Platform – November 2012.
13. Meeting of the Regional Platform committee to shape the objectives going forward – November 2012.
Other upcoming mobilising moments:
1. The initiative on “Increasing collaboration amongst International health agencies and Africa civil society toward strengthening civil society country and regional health platforms in Africa” – current.
The Current Regional Platform Steering Committee:
The platform is spearheaded by a group of dynamic Pan-African leaders/activists representing a wide range of constituents, with the following institutional identities.
Africa Council of AIDS Service Organizations (AfriCASO)
African Men for Sexual Health and Rights (AMSHeR)
East African Network of National AIDS Service Organizations (EANNASO)
Central Africa Treatment Access Group (CATAG)
Global Youth Coalition on HIV&AIDS (GYCA)
International HIV&AIDS Alliance – (IHAA-Zambia)
Journalists Against Aids (JAAIDS)
Network of African People Living with HIV, Southern Africa Region. (NAP+SAR)
Southern Africa HIV&AIDS information Dissemination Services (SAfAIDS)
World AIDS Campaign International (WACI)
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