UN Women Cameroon supports religious leaders in the development of their action plans to respond to HIV and GBV in COVID-19 context

Date: Sunday, August 30, 2020

Religious leaders
Family picture in Ebolowa. Photo credit: Zambo Bouchard

From 19 to 21 August 2020 in Ebolowa, UN Women in partnership with the National AIDS Control Committee (CNLS) organized a workshop to develop the performance framework of HIV action plan on religious communities and to sensitize key religious leaders on quality messages to prevent HIV and GBV during in the context of COVID-19. The objective of this workshop was to finalize national HIV action plans of religious denominations in the context of COVID-19and to build the capacity of religious leaders in sensitization and community mobilization messages for the HIV response.

In his introductory remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the NACC congratulated and thanked the religious leaders for accepting this initiative, which is in line with the circular of the Prime Minister of Cameroon which instructed the development of sectoral plans to fight HIV/AIDS.

During the three days, the workshop took place in strict compliance with the barrier measures. Several presentations related to HIV and with the aim of equipping religious leaders for a better orientation of their speeches in the fight against HIV/AIDS in the context of the COVID-19 were held. These included the evaluation of the implementation of the recommendations of the October 9-11, 2019 workshop, the general presentation of the NSP 2021-2023, a reminder of the major orientations of the national HIV plan for religious leaders, the presentation of the experience of the interventions of the actors in the accompaniment of leaders, and the impregnation of the central religious leadership on the messages of sensitization and community mobilization. Similarly, the various group discussions resulted in the presentation of the main changes in the plan and the technical assistance identified and the development of the performance framework.

Since 2018, within the framework of its Strategic Note 2018-2020, UN Women has been working with the National AIDS Control Committee to support HIV policies and programs in order to promote gender equality and equitable access to quality services, to address growing inequalities and to promote LNOB especially vulnerable groups who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The recommendations of this workshop on a platform for exchange with religious leaders and the integration of the Religious Leaders Action Plan into the NSP 2021-2023 operational plan will make it easier to wait for results and leave no one behind.