The Rwandan Government and civil society are facing a significant reduction of funds to fight HIV, Tuberculosis (TB) and Malaria. Scarce resources must be invested in innovative approaches that target the most vulnerable groups. This is one of the recommendations of the “National Networking and Advocacy Meeting”, organized by the Country Coordinating Mechanism of Global Fund in Rwanda (CCM-RW) on the 22nd of September in Umubano Hotel Kigali, with the financial and technical support of GIZ, UNAIDS and Global Fund. RRP+ was one of the 6 civil society umbrella organization members of CCM that organized the event, to advocate for the interest of its members; over 100,000 people living with or affected by HIV. Representatives of many national and international civil society and governmental partners working on HIV, TB or Malaria participated.
The objective of this event was to share and promote the contribution of CSOs in the national response to HIV, Malaria and TB. Since this contribution has been critical in catalyzing and shaping global, regional and national actions related to these diseases, CCM advocates for increased support of donors for the work of civil society.
The event started with welcoming remarks by the Minister of State to the Ministry of Health Dr. Patrick Ndimubanzi and Dr. Olushayo Olu, country representative of World Health Organisation (WHO). The Rwanda Biometrical Center (RBC) continued with comprehensive presentations about the current status (prevalence and trends) of the three diseases. One of the participant, Ms. Donatilla Mukarukundo, took the floor to talk about the double stigma she and her husband have faced because they are both blind and living with HIV. With the support of civil society she’s overcome self-stigma and thanks to strict adherence to HIV treatment she’s strong enough to earn her own income. After this testimony, civil society presented their achievements, lessons learnt and challenges they face in the national HIV/TB and Malaria response. After this input, the floor was open for questions and discussions resulting in 15 recommendations, emphasizing how to strengthen the role of civil society in the HIV, TB and Malaria response.
The event was closed with some drinks and snacks that allowed participants to network with potential partners and to buy something from one of the stands of cooperatives that are member of the umbrella organizations that organized the event, to support the income of people living with HIV and people with disabilities.