FOR INCREASED ACCESS TO VACCINES: THE FRANCOPHONE AFRICAN CSOs UNITE
In advance of the 15th Francophone Summit, some civil society organizations launched the Francophone African Civil Society Organizations’ Platform for Strengthening Health Systems and Immunisation with the crucial task of improving access to health and vaccines in Francophone Africa.
Dakar, November 26, 2014 – While heads of state and government converge to Dakar for the 15th Francophone Summit, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from Francophone Africa officially launched the Francophone African Civil Society Organizations’ Platform for Strengthening Health Systems and Immunisation (OAFRESS) that aims to improve access to health services and vaccines in the region. A platform supported by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
“Civil society organizations are key Government partners to help address the health challenges we are facing in Francophone Africa,” said Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of Health and Social Action in Senegal, and the godmother of this platform.
“The Francophone civil society in Africa is not as structured and strong as in Anglophone countries; it is a largely untapped resource in public health policy”, said Clarisse Loumou-Loé, Member of Gavi’s Civil Society Organisation Steering Committee. “This platform, which intends to help develop more effective health policies, will be a space for structuring advocacy, exchanging information to develop and strengthen partnerships between Francophone CSOs, and also with national and regional public institutions as well as the private sector.”
“In a health crisis context marked by the epidemic of Ebola virus, I welcome the creation of this new Platform for Strengthening Health Systems which will help work more closely with communities and ensure their access to healthcare”, said Annick Girardin, French Secretary of State for Development and Francophonie.” This is what Francophonie is all about: unite a community of actors and leverage the expertise of each around a common interest”, she added.
“The civil society is a key partner in identifying and solving problems related to vaccine access and equity and more widely, related to health. This initiative aims to enhance the coverage and equitable access to immunisation in Francophone countries. More children will be protected against preventable diseases”, welcomed Dr. Seth Berkley, Executive Director, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Note to editors:
The Francophone African Organization for Strengthening Health Systems and Immunisation (OAFRESS) has the following objectives:
• To be a space for structuring Francophone CSOs’ advocacy, recognized nationally, regionally and globally to enable effective participation of CSOs in health policy in Francophone countries.
• Encourage CSO participation in the development, implementation and evaluation of health policies and programs at national and regional level.
• Develop partnerships between Francophone CSOs, regional institutions and the private sector.
• Develop a dialogue and synergies between Northern and Southern partners.
OAFRESS is now composed of 25 CSOs or national platforms in 17 Francophone countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo, Ivory Coast, DRC, Gabon, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo)
Guy Aho Tete Benissan
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