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Director’s Message – February 2019

February 28, 2019

Origin of the National AIDS Programme Managers and Key Partners Meeting 

The Partnership is preparing for the Seventh Meeting of National AIDS Programme Managers and Key Partners scheduled for 11 to 13 March 2019. This meeting is the brainchild of Professor Peter Figueroa who served as Chair of the Priority Area Coordinating Committee and Vice Chair of the PANCAP Executive Board from 2009 to the end of 2013. Prof. Figueroa, like other partners, recognized that PANCAP was challenged to transfer regional public goods to the countries. He reflected on the experience and success of the Annual meeting of the Expanded Programme on Immunization Programme Managers and recommended that the HIV response could benefit tremendously from a similar annual meeting. With funding from the Global Fund, this meeting became a reality.

Evolution 

After six years, the meeting has evolved as a forum for reflecting on the Region’s progress and challenges, discussing and agreeing on strategies that countries can implement to better respond to the epidemic and sharing of global developments and innovations and country experiences in implementing innovative strategies to achieve the end of AIDS. It fosters dialogue and respect among NAP managers and civil society partners and has allowed NAP managers to better appreciate the contributions of civil society partners. It provides regional and development partners with the opportunity to learn from the countries and to better tailor their assistance to support country needs.

Knowledge Management Share Fair 

We have also added an extra day for knowledge sharing and capacity building among NAP managers and civil society partners with funding from the PEPFAR-USAID Johns Hopkins University funded PANCAP Knowledge for Health Project. A fifth day is now dedicated to NAP managers only to enable them to meet and identify their priorities and needs including technical support from partners.

Platform for reflection 

This year the Planning Committee has agreed to create space for individual countries to reflect on each session and to indicate which strategy or innovation they can commit to implement and to report on the following year. This would facilitate increased transfer of regional public goods by allowing countries the flexibility to implement innovative strategies and activities that take into consideration the available human and financial resources.

Increased interest 

We have also seen increased interest in this meeting, which has expanded its target audience to include chief medical officers and permanent secretaries. All development partners in the Region now actively participate in this meeting.

We look forward to welcoming all partners and sharing and learning from each other and to the outcomes and follow up actions.

Funding is guaranteed for this meeting under the new three-year PANCAP-CVC-COIN Global Fund grant, which will commence on 1 October 2019.

I wish to extend a special thank you to the Planning Committee for framing an agenda that responds to the needs of our National AIDS Programmes.