Neziswa Mdaka, Cross-site Facilitator for HST's SA SURE Plus Project, attended the session hosted by Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM), entitled 'Meaningful partnerships for health − the role of communities'.
The presenters were Gavin Reid (GFATM), Kumanan Rosanathan (World Health Organization), George Ayala (The Global Forum), Helen Chorlto, (Pediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa − PATA) and Jerome Pfaff (United Nations Children's Fund – UNICEF).
It is clear that as we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Alma Alta Declaration, there has been little progress towards one of its core principles − community involvement in the strengthening of health systems. As we move forward in the era of Sustainable Development Goals, we must consciously embed people-centred approaches and sustainable community participation for stronger health systems.
This requires navigating through legal issues associated with community engagement and power relations, and respecting the human rights facets of gender, religion, culture and language. Strong leadership means relinquishing power to others.
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