Thursday 23rd April 2015
UNAIDS Country Director for the Indian Ocean Region including Seychelles, Dr Claire Mulunga, is currently on an official visit in the Seychelles and today met with Civil Society representatives. The meeting took place at the Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles meeting room. Dr Malunga was accompanied by Dr. Anne Gabriel, CEO of National AIDS Council. The principle aim of the meeting was to identify to which extent the role of civil society has been so far in the national response of HIV AIDS in Seychelles and what needs to be addressed so that the post 2015 targets of getting to zero are achieved.
Present at the meeting were:
Mr Jude Fred – Vice-Chairperson CEPS
Mr Ronny Arnephy – Social, Health and Education Commissioner CEPS
Mrs Christianne Vidot – Faith-based Commissioner CEPS
Mr Michel Pierre – Projects and Events Manager CEPS
Mrs Francoise Larue – Chairperson Alliance of Solidarity For the Family
Mr Alex Rath – Board Member of the HIV AIDS Support Organisation
The increase of the epidemic in Seychelles was made evident in the 2014 National Annual Epidemiological Report and this was one of the biggest concerns of the meeting. Other issues discussed were factors relating to stigma and discrimination, lack of resources such as financing, manpower and tools, lack of programme sustainability were also discussed. One of the progresses that were discussed was the fact that there is a better relationship between civil society and Government leading to better co-ordination to the HIV response. Dr Mulunga said that she was happy to see such progress and that she sees more involvement from CEPS now that Civil Society is very much involved in the Test and Treat Campaign launched nationally by MOH and NAC on World AIDS Day 2014.
To conclude the meeting, Dr Mulunga recommended that Civil Society organisations:-
– know their role by finding their own identity
– partner and maintain partnership with Government and private sector
– integrate advocacy in day to day activities
– see the importance of documentation
– do a mapping of all HIV interventions in the country
Civil Society organisations present has pledged to keep working towards getting to zero new infection, zero Aids related deaths and zero discrimination.