Towards an AIDS Free Africa-Delivering on the Frontline -What a call to action! at PATA 2017 Conference
November 6, 2017
Guided by the three thematic areas of find, treat and care, the summit brought together under one roof different stakeholders ranging from funding partners, Ministry of Health officials, health providers to program implementers from 15 African countries in a three days intense deliberation and reflection on what we see as best practices so far and what still needs to be done to deliver an AIDS Free generation.
What comes out clearly?
What comes out clearly is; there is a lot of progress in eMTCT, new infections have greatly reduced and AIDS related death has reduced among children.
However, we continue to see a gap in ART between children and adults with more than 1 million children still not on treatment, AIDS related deaths have slightly increased among adolescents and older children not being reached through eMTCT and we still see many children falling out of the treatment cascade.
Need for a regional linking and learning space
With the reducing resources there is need for more innovative ways of finding these children and retaining them into care. Since these children are somewhere in the community, if we look we shall sure find them. This brings up the following questions:
- Why are communities giving low yield
- Where are the children?
- Are we looking in the wrong places?
- What strategies can we use in the community to find and retain these children?
- Where are the missed opportunities?
We cannot continue doing things in the same way and hope to get different results. There is need for us to create a regional space where strong linking and learning is possible. We need a combined effort of the different resources in the different frontline areas (community, health facility system) that we can put to use to be able to bridge the gap and deliver a generation that will START FREE, STAY FREE and remain AIDS FREE!