The African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation(ACHEST) successfully hosted the Annual Reflection meeting of the Health Systems and Advocacy partnership(HSAP) in Kampala from March 11-13th 2020.
Now its fifth and final year, HSAP has been focusing on four building blocks for strong health systems namely; strengthening human resources for health and access to essential sexual and reproductive health commodities, while also advocating for good governance and equitable financing.
In the Ugandan context, the project has been implemented by ACHEST in partnership with AMREF and HEPS-Uganda.
During the Annual Reflection Meeting in Kampala, partners deliberated on the project outcomes, the progress made so far and impact made in as far as strengthening Uganda health system is concerned..
Some of the achievements highlighted were: strengthening capacities of stakeholders, bringing CSOs on board to push for Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, documentation and evidence-based advocacy; and strong collaboration at the national, regional and global level among others.
The RMNCAH youth coalition which brought together CSOs of youth led organisations to push for better reproductive health services by advocating for better policies and programmes was one of the outcomes that was highlighted as making a difference in advocating for adolescent health. It was noted that RMNCAH is now recognized by the government in its own right.
Dr. Patrick Kadama, the ACHEST Director of Policy and Strategy said with the high population in Uganda, stakeholders are more than ever conscious of the need for individuals to make informed choices through contraception. He noted that the budget for family planning commodities has improved over the last few years.
“CSOs have done a lot in the development of the sharpened planned for Uganda and the roll out,” Dr. Kadama added.
Partners also highlighted the challenges faced while implementing the project and outcomes that could be sustained.
Moving forward, Dr. Peter Eriki, who represented the ACHEST Executive Director called for continued collaboration and mobilizing resources even after the HSAP ends.
“We have done well. Let’s move together. What the anyone will remember is the last bit of your story. Let’s take advantage of this. Keep moving!” said Dr. Eriki
The meeting ended by identifying outcomes that would be evaluated by an independent consultant. Local civil society organizations - Peer-to-Peer Uganda, Naguru Teenage Center and White Ribbon Alliance also participated in the meeting.
Compiled by Carol Natukunda, Communications Specialist, African Center for Global Health and Socia Transformation