In July 2010, Senegal and the Global Fund signed a new Round 9 Grant with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Magatte Mbodj, Executive Director of ANCS (the Alliance linking organisation in Senegal) describes the impact of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria on the civil society response in Senegal.
The fight against HIV/AIDS has shown substantial results in the last two decades despite the major challenges we face here in Senegal. In this context, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) has provided much needed additional support, giving a new breath in the response over the last five years.
For HIV, Senegal was awarded Global Fund grants for Round 1, Round 6 and now Round 9. This support has contributed to the significant progress in the fight against AIDS, in particular in achieving results towards Universal Access. This is illustrated by the fact that the prevalence rate has been maintained at less than 1% in the general population.
Other achievements include: greater involvement of civil society organisations in the response, increased involvement of civil society organisations in existing decision making entreaties at the national level (CCM, Partners Forum, National AIDS Council), rapid access to financial resources for civil society, and implementation of performance-oriented mechanisms and procedure.
We have also seen major scaling-up and speeding up of interventions towards vulnerable groups (men who have sex with men and sex workers, a decentralization of services and great capacity building among civil society.
Civil society interventions, which have been coordinated by ANCS under the Global Fund programme since 2005, has widely contributed to Senegal’s success in providing communities with quality prevention, care and support services. This was made possible by courageous stakeholders who were able to show their leadership and role in defining, developing and implementing HIV policies and programs. Moreover, Senegalese civil society has long fought to be a pioneer in piloting the first Global Fund experiments with dual track financing.
Despite these successes, there are numerous key challenges to the ongoing response to HIV. These include: improving the environment for the HIV response by reducing stigma and discrimination, scaling up interventions for key vulnerable populations (including sex workers and men who have sex with men), for women and young people and by building up civil society technical, managerial and organisational capacities.
This latest round of Global Fund support provides a significant opportunity for civil society in Senegal, and will strengthen prevention among the groups I mentioned with a strong focus on pregnant women as part of the community PMCT strategy. This major strategic component, implemented by ANCS with three sub-recipient organisations, is actually aimed at the well being of mother and child by limiting mother to child transmission. Great progress in this area allows us to be optimistic and to fully support the ‘BORN HIV FREE’ initiative launched by the Global Fund and UNAIDS.
I should add that these interventions will be supported by an important component of community systems strengthening, providing an opportunity for civil society to improve and support quality, accessible service delivery and meet the actual basic needs of communities.
Finally, I would like to say that it will all be built upon the achievements of the last five years in order to have a capable, committed civil society and with the necessary means for service delivery.