News

First Lady of The Gambia supports Fistula Strategic and Resources Mobilisation Meeting

11 April 2018
The First Lady of The Gambia with Mr Sosthene DOUGROU, Regional TS Health System Strengthening/ Maternal Health Focal Point, ECOWAS, WAHO,  USAID and EngenderHealth representants.
The First Lady of The Gambia with Mr Sosthene DOUGROU, Regional TS Health System Strengthening/ Maternal Health Focal Point, ECOWAS, WAHO, USAID and EngenderHealth representants.

The openning ceremony was chaired by the First Lady of the Gambia.

Banjul, in the Gambia, held the 3 days Regional Technical and Resources Mobilization Meeting from 5th to 7th March 2018 with the participation of ECOWAS, WAHO, UNFPA, USAID and EngenderHealth. The main objective was to develop and update a roadmap of interventions to fistula elimination in West Africa and institutionalize a regional platform of partners that will be working in a coordinated manner.

In 2017, the First Ladies of the ECOWAS met in Niamey for a forum to affirm their resolve to eliminate obstetric fistula, female genital mutilation, as well as gender-, female- and youth-based violence. As a result, the First Ladies issued a declaration urging West African Head of States to allocate 03% of national budget to the implementation of action plans on child protection, elimination of female genital mutilation and obstetric fistula and define harmonized indicators on obstetric fistula in their national health information systems.

The gravity of the situation requires that all stakeholders quickly move beyond declarations of intent to consolidate and scale-up existing initiatives and partnerships, mobilize necessary resources to generate a critical mass that can transform people's lives.

The regional fistula response has been costed but not yet implemented due to lack of resources. Since, the regional situation is characterized by limited or lack of funds for specific obstetric fistula activities/services and the direct cost of obstetric fistula repair and post-operative care cannot be afforded by patients, it is more than ever urgent to pull together available ressources and commit to End Obstetric Fistula within a Generation through a strong regional financial and technical partnership. The momentum created by the recent summit of the First Ladies of ECOWAS and the creation of the West and Central African Group to End Obstetric Fistula needs to be seized upon to move this agenda forward.

This was the background against wich, ECOWAS, WAHO, UNFPA, USAID and EngenderHealth organized a 3 day Regional Technical and Resources Mobilization Meeting in Banjul, the Gambia, 5-7 March 2018. The Regional meeting convened technical and program experts to focus on intensifying efforts to eliminate fistula in the region. The main objective was to develop and update a roadmap of interventions to fistula elimination in West Africa and institutionalize a regional platform of partners that will be working in a coordinated manner.

The key achievements of the meeting are :

- Formalisation of the WCAGEF

- Establishment of 3 sub-working groups : Advocacy and Resource Mobilization, Capacity building and observatory of Fistula in AOC

- Call Banjul (Banjul call for Action)

- Preparation and adoption by ECOWAS of a Resolution on Obstetric Fistula
 
- Preparation of a Round Table of Donors in Abuja in 2018