STOPAIDS invited GFAN Speaker Clara Banya to speak to UK Parliamentarians from the Conservative Party about her experiences and the importance of the Global Fund. Clara’s clear message to Parliamentarians highlighted the importance of Global Fund Funding to end the epidemics of HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria:
‘I am the living testimony of what Global Fund has achieved over the years, without it I could have been dead long, long time ago. Continue to support the Global Fund so that the gains we have made over the past 18 years do not go down the drain’.
You can watch part of Clara’s speech here.
The 2nd October event, ‘UK leadership at the Global Fund’, was hosted by, STOPAIDS, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, Malaria No More UK, RESULTS UK and ONE. The event aimed to demonstrate the scope of the challenge remaining to reach the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of ending AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2030, position the Global Fund as a key mechanism to make progress towards the SDG target, and mobilise support within the Conservative Party for the UK to continue to play a leading role within the Global Fund.
To read more about the event please have a look at the full blog post from STOPAIDS.
We asked Clara four questions about her trip, and this is what she had to say:
Question 1: What do you think was the most important or impactful part of your trip?
Speaking in the presence of Minister of Rt Hon Alistair Burt as joint ministers for the Department for International Development who is a strong advocate of Foreign Development was so impactful because I was able to bring the personal perception and justify the numbers that the Executive Director of Global Fund Peter Sands outlined in his speech. I was able to highlight the value for money that the UK government invest in Global Fund and justified why it is important to continue to invest in it.
Question 2: What were the key messages you hoped to get across during your visit?
My message that I hoped to get across during my visit was “Continued support to Global Fund is very important because of the opportunity that we can end AIDS by 2030.”
Question 3: Who did you meet with on your trip? Were there other speakers there with a message that you think GFAN members should hear?
I think the issue of girls and women was one of the main focus of the conference, and a lot of speakers mentioned the importance of investment in them. Of which to me I saw the relevance with HIV Programming, considering that young girls and women are the most affected by HIV here in Sub Saharan Africa. Empowering women would reduce the new HIV infection and improve adherence for those living with HIV.
Question 4: What was something that you learnt from meeting with people that you think would be useful to share with other members of the GFAN family?
I was amazed with the enthusiasm that Stop AIDS youth had in learning from GFAN in how best they can engage their MPs in advocating that they should invest in Global Fund. I think this is a great opportunity which GFAN can explore on how to empower these young people.