Achieving Health for All at the National, Regional and Global levels
In 2019, Education as a Vaccine worked with adolescents and young people to ensure that their voices were heard and provided opportunities for them to lead on matters affecting their health and development. We built their capacity to advocate at the state, national, regional and global levels in areas such as gender equality, sexual and reproductive health, and rights (SRHR) including HIV prevention, and access to services for adolescents and young people, with specific inclusion of adolescents and young people’s SRHR in the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) agenda.
2019 was the year of the Universal Health Coverage, UHC from the launch of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund by
President Buhari to the adoption of a High-Level Political Declaration on UHC. These events served as important moments to ensure that adolescents and young people were not left behind in the development and implementation of the health for all mandate. With support from the Civil Society Engagement Mechanism for UHC 2030 and International Women’s Health Coalition and as a member of the Alliance for Gender Equality and Universal Health Coverage, EVA participated in the Multilateral Stakeholders Meeting held in New York in April 2019. This included the consultations that led up to the meeting where Olabukunola Williams, our Executive Director shared insights from the realities of young people and their fate within the UHC agenda in Nigeria. We ensured that issues that mattered to adolescents and young people, gender equality and SRHR were not watered down or excluded from the political declaration. The Alliance was successful in ensuring that the declaration included these key issues in particular gender equality and SRHR.
With the launch of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, BHCPF in January 2019, EVA will support from Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health trained over 250 adolescents and young people and supported them to train their peers and advocate for the inclusion of adolescents and young people in the implementation of the BHCPF across 5 states, Abuja, Niger, Kano, Adamawa, and Ondo. They have engaged with government and community stakeholders and gain commitments that will be built on in 2020.
At the regional level, we joined our voices with other CSOs through the convening of the AIDS and Rights Alliance
for Eastern and Southern Africa (ARASA), to demand the UHC we want. A call to action launched on UHC Day was an outcome of the meeting and we have since convened a meeting of CSOs including from key and vulnerable populations to sign on to the regional call to action as well as analyze the gaps in the current implementation plan for UHC and ensure that affordable and accessible health care for all is a reality in Nigeria.
Through our engagements at global and regional levels, EVA staff and youth advocates gathered evidence, developed a new documentary and proposed policy changes to inform engagements at the global, regional, national and sub-national levels.
There is a lot more to be done to translate global and regional commitments into actions that improve the lives of young people in Nigeria. In 2020, we are looking forward to doing more to support adolescents and youth advocates to hold the government and the global community accountable in making adolescent health and well-being a priority in existing and potential policies and plans.