Country briefs to support advocacy in run up to next UN High Level Meeting on UHC
Aidsfonds supports civil society and community organizations in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia to contribute to improved HIV prevention, treatment adherence, sexual and reproductive health and rights and self-care of adolescent girls and young women including those living with HIV. These grants include You(th) Care implemented in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia and EmpoweRING and YouthWise implemented in Malawi and Uganda.
Self-care could significantly improve access to care for vulnerable and marginalized populations, including adolescent girls and young women living with and affected by HIV, who often face enormous obstacles to accessing clinic-based health care due to poverty, gender-based violence and vulnerabilities and stigma. Through accessing self-care, including ovulation predictors, pregnancy tests, phone-based apps, oral contraception, diagnostic products for sexually transmitted diseases, HIV self-testing amongst others, young people can take care of their own health, in their own home, when they need it, which at the same time increases their autonomy, choice and power over their own sexual and reproductive health.
Investing in health care systems
Self-care is more important than ever as health systems around the world have been overwhelmed by COVID-19. Thus, it’s critical that governments get serious about investing in health systems including self-care interventions, tools and products and recognize that self-care is an essential component of achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC). The way self-care interventions are financed and managed is key to their success and this requires full government and donor commitment to self-care and its full integration in health systems reforms and UHC strategies and financing.
High Level Meeting on UHC in 2023
In 2019, the very first UN High Level Meeting on UHC culminated in a Political Declaration that did not include any reference to or commitment on self-care. There is a critical opportunity to redress this at the next High Level Meeting on UHC in 2023. In order to strengthen global and country-level advocacy in the run up to the high level meeting and support this advocacy with evidence-based information, Aidsfonds together with country partners will be developing country briefs for at least three of the countries mentioned above outlining the current state of play in terms of implementation of UHC and self-care commitments, the opportunities and challenges for integrating self-care interventions into UHC plans and the advocacy landscape for young people to influence this agenda and ensure UHC meets their (self-care) needs.
The briefs will include key advocacy messages demonstrating to policy makers at the country-, regional- and global level, in particular those involved in negotiating the outcomes of the high level meeting, the critical importance of scaling up access to self-care to achieving UHC and empowering young people to take control of their own health. Stay tuned!