A WEBINAR SERIES
The arrival of highly effective HCV DAA treatment in the mid-2010s spurred new momentum in the global HCV response. In the considerable progress of recent years, one catalyst has been an essential yet consistently overlooked contributor to successful HCV responses: communities. This series of webinars will highlight the HCV-related challenges that communities have tackled and how they have done so. Over three days, we will explore the impact that communities have made in overcoming past challenges, the contributions they are making in confronting present ones, and their key role on the path to HCV elimination moving forward.
In line with the increased attention to HCV over the last decade, there were significant expansions in funding for grassroots capacity and more robust government responses. But by 2020, global attention and civil society funding seemed on a downward trajectory. Then came Covid19. Beyond budget stress, Covid19 will surely impact national/global HCV responses, though exactly how remains unclear. However, one point is certain: without robust engagement of communities and integration of community expertise, elimination will not be achieved. But if communities are empowered, HCV elimination is possible.
Come join us to celebrate the impact of community mobilisation in the fight against hepatitis C. Over 25 organisations across over 20 countries will be presenting during three two-and-a-half hour interactive webinars from December 8th to December 10th.
We will share lessons learned, reinforce solidarity to face our current challenges, and look toward how communities can build on these tools as they continue the journey on future paths that may be characterised by declining resources and challenges to momentum in hepatitis C. And in this year of physical separation, we will be aiming to come together with long-time colleagues and possibly even meet new colleagues.
All sessions will be in available in English and French. Speakers and participants will be able to choose in which of the two languages they will prefer to listen to during the webinar and address the audience.
THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF THE COMMUNITIES IN THE JOURNEY HERE
December 8th (Day 1) : The Past
The first day of the webinar series will focus on the challenges that communities have tackled in recent years in their fight against hepatitis C. Emphasis will be placed on sharing lessons learned and highlighting the value of community action (including the impact of collaborations with fellow civil society organisations). We will begin by framing the unprecedented scale of community and civil society mobilisation in the past five years. We will then hear community-based and civil society organisations describe activities across several areas: awareness-raising, harm reduction, access to medicines, access to testing, and capacity building. The speakers will highlight specific challenges they have confronted, the targeted activities they undertook to overcome them, the key enabling or limiting factors they encountered, and the results / impact of their action. During each thematic section, participants in the webinar will have an opportunity to ask questions to the speakers via a section-concluding question and answer period.
Introduction: Framing the Fight on Hepatitis C
➤ Hakima Himmich – Coalition PLUS, Morocco
➤ Charles Gore – Medicines Patent Pool (MPP), Switzerland
➤ Jessica Hicks – World Hepatitis Alliance, United Kingdom
Thematic Area 1: Building HCV Awareness
➤ Mandy Altman – Hep Education Project, United States
➤ Claudia Vargas – Fundación Ifarma, Colombia
Thematic Area 2: Harm Reduction
➤ Massogui Thiandoum – Alliance Nationale Contre le Sida (ANCS), Senegal
➤ Cindy Hurdoyal – Collectif UrgenceToxida (CUT), Mauritius
➤ Adriana Curado – Grupo de Ativistas em Tratamentos (GAT), Portugal
➤ Kunal Naik – Prévention Information et Lutte contre le Sida (PILS), Mauritius
➤ Margot Andriantseheno – AIDES, France
Thematic Area 3: Access to Medicines
➤ Yoke Ling Chee – Third World Network, Malaysia
➤ Caroline Thomas – Peduli Hati Bangsa, Indonesia
➤ Rodrigo Pinheiro – Fórum das ONG/Aids do Estado de São Paulo (FOAESP), Brazil
➤ Othman Mellouk – International Treatment Preparedness Coalition Middle East and North Africa (ITPC MENA), Morocco
Thematic Area 4: Strengthening Access through Improving Service Capacity
➤ Rajkumar (Kanta) Nalinikanta – Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE), India
➤ Denzil Basil – The Delhi Network of Positive People (DNP+), India
➤ Anu Karunanithy – Malaysia AIDS Council (MAC), Malaysia
➤ Taha Brahni – Association de Lutte Contre le Sida (ALCS), Morocco
THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF COMMUNITIES AT THE PRESENT CROSSROADS
December 9th (Day 2) : The Present
The second day of the webinar series will focus on the challenges that communities are facing today in their fight against hepatitis C. Emphasis will be placed on sharing lessons learned and highlighting the value of community action (including the impact of collaborations with fellow civil society organizations). We will then hear from community-based and civil society organizations on several themes: their perspectives on a wide range of national responses, the importance of community engagement in national processes (from the unique perspectives of a national community representative and a national program director), the value of community-based research, and the importance of decentralisation / task-shifting to scaling up and improving the equity of HCV responses. The speakers will highlight specific challenges they have confronted, the targeted activities they undertook to overcome them, the key enabling or limiting factors they encountered, and the results / impact of their action. During each thematic section, participants in the webinar will have an opportunity to ask questions of the speakers via a section-concluding question and answer period.
Thematic Area 1: Perspectives on National Responses
➤ Simona Ciobanu – Asociatia Romana Anti-SIDA (ARAS), Romania
➤ Gaston Devisich – Fundación Huesped, Argentina
➤ Patricia Rwimo – L’Association Nationale de Soutien aux Séropositifs (ANSS), Burundi
Thematic Area 2: Formal Community Engagement in National HCV Responses
➤ Yashwinder Singh – Community Representative to Committee of National Viral Hepatitis Control Program of India, India
➤ Dr Muhammad Radzi – National Head of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ministry of Health, Malaysia
Thematic Area 3: Community-based Research
➤ Rosemary Delabre – Coalition PLUS Research Laboratory, France
➤ Luis Mendão – Grupo de Ativistas em Tratamentos (GAT), Portugal
Thematic Area 4: Bringing Services Closer to Communities
➤ Fatoumata Konate – Coalition PLUS, Senegal
➤ Rachel Halford – Hep C Trust, United Kingdom
➤ Edward Low – Positive Malaysian Treatment Access & Advocacy Group (MTAAG+), Malaysia
THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF COMMUNITIES ON THE PATH TO SUSTAINABLE PROGRESS
December 10th (Day 3) : The Future
The third day of the webinar series will focus on the opportunities and challenges that communities will face in the years to come. Having spent the prior two days examining the past and present tools and strategies that communities have employed, we will turn toward an exploration of future mobilisation on the final day. This will begin with an exploration of some of the technical considerations that may shape the policy and technological environment of the hepatitis C response; we have invited colleagues from technical organisations to present on the near horizon of guideline recommendations, provide a look at possible advances in testing technologies, and examine what we may expect in available treatment regimens in the coming years. We will then ask fellow community-based civil society organisations to share their perspective on their future priorities and reflect on both threats and opportunities for realising these priorities. We will finish by asking several of the speakers to engage in a wider exchange of thoughts on key takeaways from the discussions on the past journey, the present moment, and future horizons. During each session, participants in the webinar will have an opportunity to ask questions of the speakers via a section-concluding question and answer period.
Introduction / Setting the Scene
➤ Estelle Tiphonnet, Coalition PLUS, France
Perspectives on the Technical Horizon
➤ Niklas Luhmann – World Health Organisation (WHO), Switzerland
➤ Sonjelle Shilton – Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND), Switzerland
➤ Isabelle Andrieux-Meyer – Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi), Spain
➤ Ernst Wisse – Médecins du Monde, France
➤ Giten Khwairakpam – TREAT Asia, Thailand
Community / Civil Society Perspective on Future Priorities, Challenges, and Opportunities
➤ Mauro Guarinieri – International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), Switzerland
➤ Aliou Sylla – Coalition PLUS, Senegal
➤ Bryn Gay – Treatment Action Group (TAG), United States
➤ Eberhard Schatz – Correlation European Harm Reduction Network, Netherlands
➤ Jessica Hicks – World Hepatitis Alliance, UK
Want to see community power in action? Check out the video we made documenting community responses to Covid across four continents.
Who is Coalition PLUS?
Coalition PLUS is an international network of community-based NGOs fighting against AIDS and viral hepatitis. Founded in 2008, Coalition PLUS works in 52 countries with around 100 civil society organisations. Based on a principle of shared governance, our coalition involves 15 member organisations, from the Global North and the South, in strategic decision-making. As part of the community approach, Coalition PLUS campaigns for people infected, affected or particularly vulnerable to HIV and HCV to be systematically involved in the decision-making, implementation and evaluation processes of health programs that concern them. Through the various programs of its Secretariat and its 6 sub-regional intervention platforms, it aims to strengthen the capacities of community associations, while facilitating spaces for sharing knowledge and expertise.
Since 2015, Coalition PLUS has coordinated the HIV/HCV Drug Affordability Project. Over the project’s five year history, the project has supported HCV-related activities of nearly twenty community-based and civil society organisations across seven countries (Malaysia, India, Morocco, Brazil, Colombia, Thailand, and Indonesia). Project partners have been engaged in activities ranging from advocacy toward national policymakers to awareness-raising at the community level. The HIV/HCV Drug Affordability Project is financed by Unitaid.