Kigali: Impact Santé Afrique trains ‘The Voices of the Fight’ on Malaria advocacy

Impact Santé Afrique (ISA), which is a secretariat of the ‘Civil Society for Malaria Elimination (CS4ME)’ has trained “The Voices of the Fight” that include Civil Society Leaders and Community Health Workers in Anglophone Africa to increase advocacy for the fight against malaria, and to support the upcoming 7th replenishment of the Global Fund.

The three-day training that took place in Kigali on May 24-26 2022 – bringing together 15 participants from six countries: Uganda, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Cameroun – was with objective to strengthen Anglophone leaders and Community Health Workers on public speaking techniques to improve the quality of public speaking when sharing testimonies, personal stories, experiences, and key messages to different audiences.

“We have identified a group of leaders from the civil society and the community, who will be great advocates to end Malaria. We have trained them on communication skills and speaking skills so that they can deliver Malaria messages to communities, to leaders and to the media. We worked closely with the malaria control program of the ministry of health of Rwanda,” said Olivia Ngou, Executive Director of Impact Santé Afrique (ISA)

“Among other training activities included recording video messages where we are asking global leaders around the World to mobilize themselves and ensure that in September the Global Fund will be able to raise at least 18 billion dollars for the fight against malaria, HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis. So those videos will be shared on social media in Africa and worldwide to ensure that the world leaders see those videos in regional summits: for example, the upcoming African Union summit, and the Commonwealth summit. We will make sure that they are aware of those messages from the civil society and know the goal that we have to reach in September 2022,” she added.

Olivia Ngou, Executive Director of Impact Santé Afrique (ISA) addressing participants during a training session

Ngou called on training beneficiaries to continue to advocate, to engage more their local leaders and decision makers, to let them know that it is important to continue to increase domestic funding for the fight against malaria and health system in general.

She also thanked the government of Rwanda and the civil society especially Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS and Health Promotion for the hospitality and efficacious organization of the training.

Training participants speak out

According to Tumainiel Mangi, Executive Director of Child Watch organization based in Tanzania most of the trainees attended without knowing how to deliver the impactful message of change to the audience or to leaders. But for the moment, all have been equipped with needed skills.

“Now throughout this training we have acquired skills on how to prepare very impactful message, how to speak to people and how to create attention for what you want to advocate for. We are not advocating because in every one minute a child under the age of 5 dies from malaria in Africa; we are not advocating because our brothers and sisters die because of malaria: the only reason we advocate is that we have the power to end malaria,” he said.

He added: “My recommendations are the following: lets strengthen our health systems, secure more resources, and leave no one behind. When we want to end malaria, we act collectively”.

Jeanne d’Arc Bora, community health monitoring officer based in Kigali

Another trainee who testifies her strengthened capacity is Jeanne d’Arc Bora, community health monitoring officer based in Kigali, who said: “The training was helpful to me and my fellow beneficiaries. After completing this important three-day training, I can now easily deliver a comprehensive message to community health workers and the community, as we have been equipped with fundamental skills”.

“There is a need to continue to educate the communities around us on how malaria is transmitted and how to prevent it. We will also raise our voices to decision makers to increase input in the fight against malaria,” she added.

As the next replenishment of the Global Fund takes place in September 2022, Impact Sante Afrique continues to prepare civil society and local actors to strengthen advocacy for the event.

The first training organized by Impact Sante Afrique (ISA) was held in December 202, bringing together 23 Francophone African advocates from: Chad, Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Niger, Senegal, Cameroon, Togo, Benin, Ivory Coast and Burundi.

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