On December 9, 2021, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria hosted a webinar in coordination with Friends of the Global Fund Europe and Friends of the Global Fund Japan (FGFJ) on “The Global Fund in the COVID-19 Era: Views from Local Civil Society.” The event featured Olivia Ngou (Impact Santé Afrique and Civil Society for Malaria Elimination), Cecilia Senoo (Hope for Future Generations), Grace Ngulube (Youth-HealthConnect360), and Choub Sok Chamreun (KHANA), who discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected HIV, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria efforts in their respective countries and what measure have been taken to mitigate it.
Mr. Chamreun opened the event by sharing the hardships brought on by COVID-19 in Cambodia, which included a clear slowdown in measures against TB, leading to increased cases. Ms. Ngulube followed with her perspective from Malawi, where teen pregnancy and exposure to STIs have increased as young women turned to sex work to address financial hardship. However, the speakers then noted how the investments of the Global Fund and their partners toward the three diseases have allowed for valuable mobilization efforts in each of their countries, even in the midst of the pandemic. Ms. Ngou and Dr. Senoo shared how these investments supported healthcare workers in Cameroon to receive training to go door-to-door assisting community members, and how it funded the distribution of important resources in Ghana, such as food packages and mosquito nets.
Throughout the webinar, the speakers highlighted the importance of civil society organizations (CSO) being involved in each step of the healthcare response. Each representative agreed that initiatives like the Global Fund’s Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM), which emphasizes a multisectoral approach, have been incredibly helpful in taking necessary steps toward increasing CSO involvement.
The speakers concluded their session in agreement that the Global Fund and its partners have been indispensable in continuing the fight against the three diseases in the background of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mark P. Lagon, Chief Policy Officer at Friends of the Global Fight, ended the discussion with the hope that efforts to reach vulnerable populations will only continue to grow, and that communities will remain at the center of all considerations.
DATE: December 9, 2021
TIME: 9:00-10:00am EST (GMT-5)
ORGANIZERS: Friends of the Global Fight
CO-ORGANIZERS: Friends of the Global Fund Europe & Friends of the Global Fund Japan
– Olivia Ngou, Impact Santé Afrique and Civil Society for Malaria Elimination (Cameroon; Moderator)
– Cecilia Senoo, Hope for Future Generations (Ghana)
– Grace Ngulube, WeCare (Malawi)
– Choub Sok Chamreun, KHANA (Cambodia)