DSC_2270Abubakar Muhammed Kurfi  (EV 2013)

Delegates at the 17th ICASA conference 2013 held a very timely and relevant session to discuss modalities for expanding the fiscal space in Africa through innovative public private partnership mechanisms to improve the delivery of HIV/AIDS services. The session began by appreciating the fact that public-private partnership in health care is a major issue of health sector reform and public policy analysis in many African nations. A “public private partnership” is a collaborative relationship between the public and private sectors aimed at harnessing and optimizing the use of all available resources, knowledge, and facilities required to promote efficient, effective, affordable, accessible, equitable and sustainable health care for all.

The session was coordinated by the friends of Africa which is a pan African organization that  works to mobilize strategic political and financial support for the fight against AIDS, TB and Malaria through advocacy, capacity building and resource mobilization. The organization supports the work of the Global Fund through collaboration and networking with all stakeholders including the civil society, the private sector and the government to combat these three diseases.

Delegates observed that several factors are interacting to necessitate the urgent need for maximizing the contribution of the private sector in the provision of HIV/AIDS services especially in low income countries.  These include the complex nature of the response to the pandemic as typified by the dynamic changes occurring in the HIV/AIDS sector which makes ownership and sustainability of the response by emerging nations very necessary. The dwindling nature of donor funding as a result of fatigue and the economic meltdown also makes it imperative for African nations to harness and maximize the contribution of the private sector in financing the HIV/AIDS response. The rising population growth and rising public expectations and the continuous quest for quality through patient centered care provision also necessitates the need for innovative mechanisms to finance this complex response.

One of the key challenges to policy makers, civil society and the private sector is how to cement this triangle of partnership in such a way that HIV/AIDS services can be provided more efficiently, effectively, and equitably.  There is therefore the need to understand the operation of different players, their strengths and weaknesses, and based on such understandings, establish new relationships that will entail the act of learning, understanding and shared responsibilities. This Collaboration will also allow for the creation of an enabling environment and synergy that allows them to contribute more to the good of the general public than would have been achieved individually.

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