The war against malaria has racked up some significant successes over the past half century. The testing of a new vaccine and the possibility of genetically modifying malaria-carrying mosquitoes to prevent them from reproducing have some people hoping we will soon be able to eliminate the disease. That’s likely still a long way off. It needn’t be, though, if we embrace a powerful but untapped resource for fighting malaria: the communities affected by it.
The average maternal mortality ration in the EAC is 477 per 100,000 live births; the rate of female genital cutting is as high as 21% and 10% in Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania respectively; adult HIV prevalence is as high as 7.1% in Uganda yet only 1.3% in Burundi and the proportion of family planning demand satisfied by modern methods is only about 40%. Only half of pregnant mothers in the region attend the recommended 4 Antenatal Care visits and deliver under skilled care.
Although the recommended level of the “package” of physicians, nurses and midwives” and financing required to attain the SRG related SDGs are 44.5 per 10,000 population and US $86 per person per year, the status in the EAC as a whole is only 12 per 10,000 population and US $ 49 per capita per year respectively.
In a recent survey of 54 representatives from African civil society organizations and community groups, 76% reported previously accessing technical assistance (TA) to support their engagement in Global Fund processes. The survey was conducted in March 2017 by the Regional Platform for Communication and Coordination for Anglophone Africa, hosted by EANNASO. The Regional Platform forms part of the Global Fund’s Community, Right and Gender Special Initiative (CRG SI). Improving access to TA to support civil society and community groups to meaningfully engage in Global Fund processes is a key objective of the CRG SI.
Aidspan has been reporting on the CRG SI’s progress since 2015 (see GFO stories here, here, here and here). The survey is a follow-up needs assessment to one conducted in January 2015. Aidspan has previously reported on those results.
Washington, D.C. (Mar. 24)– World Tuberculosis (TB) Day, observed March 24th each year, comes with growing momentum among advocates to eradicate an ancient disease that continues to impact millions of people throughout the world. Alarmed by a steady rise in cases of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB; including multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), advocates have become more targeted in their calls for greater investment in research that will lead to less toxic drugs, modern diagnostic tools, and shorter treatment regimens for people who contract the disease. These efforts are beginning to draw responses.
At the Ministerial Meeting Towards Ending TB in the South-East Asia Region, New Delhi, on March 16, 2017, anurgent call to action was signedby 11 health ministers, committing to scale-up efforts targeted at ending TB. The strongly worded document noted that TB remains the leading cause of death among all infectious diseases in the World Health Organization’s (WHO) South-East Asia Region, having claimed nearly 800,000 lives in 2015 alone.
The Community Rights and Gender (CRG) Advisory Group*, a body that provides advice to the Global Fund’s CRG Department, oversaw this independent review, which was carried out by the Community Action and Leadership Collaborative (CLAC)**, and led by MSMGF. Preliminary findings and recommendations were validated by more than 100 people through community consultations and interviews in seven countries:
Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Moldova, the Philippines, Suriname, and Tunisia – and nineteen community key informants from Morocco, Sierra Leone, Indonesia, Armenia, Ethiopia Argentina, Tanzania Nepal, South Africa, Thailand, Costa Rica and Tunisia.