The was made known during a one day session organized by CARKAP, at the Vanilla Complex Aberdeen West of Freetown
Given an overview of CARKAP, Program Manager for CARKAP Harry B. Alpha said the Consortium for Advancement of Rights for Key Affected Population (CAR-KAP) is a consortium established by organizations that are strongly affected by the three diseases. He said they comprises of civil society organizations, Networks and Associations of PLHIVs, men with high risk sexual behaviors, women’s organizations, youth, children’s movement, LGBTI and Faith Based Organizations who are geared towards advancing advocacy campaign on rights to access services for Key Affected Populations and their communities within National Health programmes
He pointed out that the consortium was formed as a result of the series of financial, capacity building, human rights and gender barriers and community needs in improving access to health services to achieve good health outcome for all. ‘’The consortium recognized that it is only through a bigger and broader advocacy umbrella body or group that can improve and make collective and sustainable changes to laws, guidelines, policies and protocols to increase access to health, monitor drugs, commodities, PSM services and implementation of programs and to improve capacities for other social services for these key affected populations and their communities’’ he said.
He said policies and programmes should be reformed to promote and protect the rights of affected people and their communities in creating an enabling environment for HIV, TB and Malaria prevention, treatment, care and Health programming. He said this include reforming criminal penalties for sex workers, sex between consenting same sex couples and users of drugs.
He added that the goal of CARKAP is to support the development and strengthening of functional organizations to build capacities in delivery of community health services, strengthen monitoring of quality health services and supplies, Human Right and Gender programs, document, publish results and recommendations, to advocate for change and accountability.
He stated that their vision is to envisage a Sierra Leone where Key Affected Populations access quality health services in an enabling environment. This he said improve the health, social, economic and other human conditions of the neediest communities affected by the three diseases (AIDS, TB and Malaria) through community engagement.
Mr Alpha added that their objective is to manage and deliver services, including both facility-based clinical services and non-facility-based health services, to increase support for people who are abuse, marginalized or stigmatized and discriminated in accessing Health services and provide legal aid services, to mobilize actions among people who are marginalized for improved social conditions and inclusions, to carry out community social mobilization to address broader determinants of Health; Human Rights and Gender Inequalities; to conduct advocacy with the view to create an appropriate enabling policy and legislative environmental frameworks and governance, oversight and accountability; to create an effective and sustainable documentation, to carry out resource mobilization for international health financing and domestic financing for Health and to network and partner with development organizations.
In her statement the Chairperson of CARKAP Madam Marie Benjamin said CARKAP said CARKAP is an advocacy and coordinating platform of civil society organization working towards improving services for the health of communities and people strongly affected by condition such as HIV/TB and malaria.
She said there is a need to work in close collaboration with the media to complement advocacy at all level. She noted that HIV, TB and malaria related to key affected population which remind an issues in the country. She said despite what has been done in terms of media coverage more need to be done. She added that the main goal of the programe was to strengthening partnership between the media in preventing HIV infection, TB and malaria. Other importance statement were also made by representative from UNAIDS and NAS.