Meet PITCH Country Focal Point D´bora de Carvalho from Mozambique

Meet PITCH Country Focal Point D´bora de Carvalho from Mozambique

In our series on PITCH country focal points, D´bora de Carvalho from Mozambique shares what she hopes to achieve with her partners before the end of the programme.

 

What are the top advocacy successes achieved in PITCH in your country to date?

  • The consolidation of the sex workers Platform and establishment of REAJUD, two community led movements promoting human rights of the sex workers and PWUD. The Sex Workers Platform is now recognised by government entities and Global Fund as a strategic stakeholder on the HIV prevention
  • The willingness of the police to work in partnership with the PITCH programme even though the current drug legislation is not comprehensive
  • The engagement and involvement of PITCH partners in the 3/97 law revision process. The CSO consultation report was shared with the National Drug Commission
  • PITCH implementing partners’ engagement with the Global Fund.

In the political context, the Ministry of Education and Human Development revoked the ministerial order 39/GM/2003 mandating the transfer of pregnant girls from day to night classes. This practice was discriminatory, denied the AGYW access to education and increased stigma and discrimination.

 

Who are your most important allies?

The sex workers and PUWD are fearful of police intimidation, sexual abuse, sexual harassment, and financial extortion. They are also victims of stigma and discrimination. As such, the Police, the National Drug Commission, National AIDS Council, Doctors without Borders and UNDP are our most important allies. By working in partnership with these entities, the access to quality HIV services will increase. Also, PITCH partners will be timely involved in the ongoing law revision process.

 

Name one thing that has surprised you in PITCH since you started your role?
PITCH is implemented in 9 countries, with different economic, socio-cultural and political contexts. Although being a cultural mosaic, what surprised me most was the strong communication between the country focal points and the global team. Also the PITCHERS being conscious that we can and need to learn from each other. We are putting the slogan 'Leaving no one behind' into practice. 

 

What is the most important global and/or national policy event for your country in the next year?

On a global level:

  • ICASA is the most important African AIDS and STI Policy event, where the countries will reflect on the SDG’s, the 90-90-90 goal and the end of HIV by 2030. The Mozambique HIV response is in crisis. The country has the second highest mortality rate due to HIV and AIDS in the Southern region of the continent. The coverage of antiretroviral therapy (ART) is far below the regional average, about 47% compared to 67% of the countries in the region. PITCH implementing partners and other CSO’s have expressed their concerns at the national level, and it would be an excellent opportunity to advocate for more comprehensive HIV services. Also share their experiences and learn from other CSO’s.
  • Revising the law is a long process in Mozambique. Adding to this the presidential election in October which will delay the revision of law 3/97 even more. This law criminalises the consumption of drugs and as an accomplice, people or entities who distributes syringes to PWUD. Therefore, there is no space for the implementation of harm reduction programmes in the country. Baring this in mind, PITCH implementing partners are willing to advocate at the 26th Harm Reduction International Conference for the provision of these services. Also, the conference will be a good opportunity to strengthen the PWUD movement in Mozambique as the participants will interact with other PWUD networks.
  • Women’s coalitions are the strongest community led movements in Mozambique recognised by the authorities and donors. Currently the women’s movement is engaged in the family law revision, ending early marriage and advocating for gender equality. Country partners Lambda and Muleide are part of the country delegation attending the UN Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW). Lambda aims to include the LGBT issues in the Women’s network’s national advocacy agenda.

On a national level:

  • The PWUD and Law enforcement workshop. PITCH in partnership with the Police, National Drug Commission, the National Aids Council and Ministry of Health is organizing a two days workshop. The workshop aims to share national and international experiences on new approaches of law enforcement for key-population in the context of HIV and AIDS.

 

What change do you hope to see in your country before the end of PITCH?

As law revision is a long process, I would love to see the CSO's with strong internal capacity to advocate for the provision of quality health services for their constituencies, with the political support, internal and external alliances that enable them to function successfully.

 

Name one thing you have learned through working in PITCH that you didn’t know before?

It was very interesting to learn more about Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and interact with the UHC CSO movement at a global level. My only concern is if the CSOs will be able to embrace this new approach without abandoning all the hard work that has been done so far.

 

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