National AIDS Commission and Partners Hold Annual Review of HIV and AIDS Interventions


Photo Credit: Atty. T. Lincoln Reeves

Partial view of partners at the Annual Review Meeting

From the 19th to the 20th of April 2017, partners in the National HIV Response representing civil society organizations, the media, government ministries, faith based organizations, NGOs, and the United Nations, gathered at the Golden Gate Hotel in Paynesville for the National HIV and AIDS Response Annual Review Meeting for 2015-2016 and 2017-2018. 

 

The objectives of the National HIV and AIDS Annual Review Meeting were as follows: to review the HIV and AIDS interventions for the years 2015 to 2016 and to plan for 2017 to 2018. 

 

In his opening remarks, Dr. Camanor used the occasion to welcome the new UNAIDS Country Director Dr. Miriam Chipimo.  He urged the partners to ensure that their plans are evidence-based, considering the fact that most of the studies upon which the National Strategic Plan is based have expired and are being redone.  He named the Stigma Index, Size Estimation, National AIDS Spending Assessment, among others. 

 

Dr. Wilfred S. Boayue, Program and Policy Commissioner, National AIDS Commission, made a presentation on the National Strategic Plan 2015-2020: Strategic Direction, Outputs, Achievements, Status, among others.  Dr. Boayue gave an overview of the various segments of the NSP, with the objective or reminding partners about the NSP and providing guidance on thematic areas of the NSP.  This approach was necessary especially considering the fact that the agenda of the Annual Review Meeting was structured after that of the NSP. 

Also speaking during the opening ceremony of the Annual Review Meeting was UNAIDS’ new Country Director Dr. Miriam Chipimo.  Dr. Chipimo described Liberia’s national response as relatively low at 2.1%.  She said with this and others, Liberia has many of advantages and opportunities.  The UNAIDS boss therefore encouraged more collaboration among partners for the forward movement of the response. 

The two-day National HIV and AIDS Annual Review Meeting comprised presentations from partners in various areas of interventions including non-clinical prevention, treatment and care, laboratory/diagnostics and supply chain.  There were also updates from several non-health sector partners including the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Labor; Armed Forces of Liberia; Anti AIDS Media Network, Ministry of Education, among others.  One key highlight of the Meeting was a presentation on a proposal referred to as the ‘Catch-Up Plan’.  The plan is a proposal that spells out how HIV services will be accelerated in Liberia over the next three years.     

Among key action points and recommendations emanating from the Annual Review Meeting, the partners agreed as follows:

  • Bi-annual review of the national HIV response and the ‘Catch Up Plan’ implementation
  • Conduct a gap analysis of the two proposals: between the two proposals: Global Fund and Catch-up Plan
  • Increased involvement of the media in HIV and AIDS activities
  • Inclusion of orphans and vulnerable children in the programming because it not covered under Global Fund Grant.
  • More consultations need to be done with line ministries and agencies
  • The HIV response should focus more on Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa because these are the counties more heavily burdened with HIV
  • Set up committees to work with partners on their challenges
  • Partners were also encouraged to report regularly on their activities.

The Annual Review Meeting of the National HIV and AIDS response is the first of its kind under the coordination mechanism led by the National AIDS Commission of Liberia.  The meeting was necessary especially against the backdrop of Liberia’s drive to reach ‘90-90-90’ targets by 2020.