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NCD alliances awarded grants from Civil Society Solidarity Fund on NCDs, COVID-19

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Nineteen civil society alliances from Africa, Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, and Latin America and the Caribbean, including NCD Alliance Nigeria, have been awarded grants to accelerate the response to the coronavirus pandemic through the first Civil Society Solidarity Fund on Non-communicable Diseases (NCDs) and COVID-19, which is now in its second year.

The awarded alliances, which were announced last week, will carry out grant activities during the rest of 2021. The 2021 Solidarity Fund totals US$335,000 and competitively awards grants of up to US$15,000.

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President of the NCD Alliance, Anne Lise Ryel, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has placed many challenges on NCD civil society, including financial sustainability. It is key to support alliances to ensure a vibrant and strong NCD civil society that can elevate the voices of communities and people living with NCDs and enable them to mobilise resources, advocate for political action and health policy reform, and hold governments and other stakeholders to account. The 2021 Solidarity Fund aims to do this.”

The recipients of the 2021 Solidarity Fund include NCD Alliance Nigeria; South African NCDs Alliance; Burundi NCD Alliance; among others.

President, NCD Alliance Nigeria, Dr. Sonny Kuku, expressed his appreciation for this award from NCD Alliance Geneva. He emphasised that the award will assist to develop comprehensive and cohesive NCD advocacy and communications strategies towards resilience and recovery, especially at the onset of the third wave of COVID 19 in Nigeria.

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NCD Alliance Nigeria activities under this grant will include organising meetings virtual and on sites of Champions of People Living With NCDs (PLWNCDs) per State to connect with relevant stakeholders to enhance Task-shifting and Task Sharing (TSTS) with Basic Healthcare Provision Fund (BHPCF) for prevention, screening, treatment and care of PLWNCDs (Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes, Sickle cell disease, and Mental health) in two States of the Federation namely Lagos and the Osun States. Synthesising and Integration of Task Shifting and Task Sharing (TSTS) Policy and BHCPF Policy as it relates to the delivery of Primary Healthcare (PHC) services to PLWNCDS in the first phase, with the aim to expand it to the other 34 states in Nigeria and FCT Abuja.

Kuku said expected outcomes of their activities would include:
•Increased knowledge of key stakeholders in 2 States on the integration of Task Shifting and Task Sharing (TSTS) and BHCPF policy in delivery of PHC services to PLWNCDs.

•Improved political interest and awareness on the personnel capacity and institutional infrastructures of PHCs in 2 states for care and treatment of PLWNCDs

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•Increased commitment to support PHCs adopting TSTS and BHCPF policy for service delivery to PLWNCDs in 2 states

•Inclusion of PLWNCDs and NCD Alliance Nigeria in the decision-making process on access to care, screening, and treatment services at PHCs to PLWNCDs in 2 States.

•Improved coordination between PHCs and SHCs in 2 states on care and treatment of PLWNCDs

People living with NCDs have been at the epicentre of the pandemic since it began, due to their heightened vulnerability to severe symptoms or death from COVID-19 as well as to the health system disruptions experienced in most countries around the world. This means that the urgent need for NCD action and investment – and for advocacy and pressure by NCD civil society – has never been greater.

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COVID-19, however, has challenged its financial sustainability, and the difficulties of adapting to a virtual context have stalled advocacy efforts on the ground. The Solidarity Fund aims to address these challenges, supporting NCD civil society in continuing its important work as countries and health systems endeavour to rebuild better and fairer, leaving no one behind.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NCD Alliance, Katie Dain, said: “The NCD Alliance launched this Solidarity Fund in 2020 as a first-of-its-kind fund to support exemplary efforts from NCD civil society organisations to respond to the pandemic, including advocating for the integration of NCDs into governments’ COVID-19 response plans. Building upon its successes and due to the continuation of COVID-19, we are now launching the second phase of this Solidarity Fund to make the case for prioritising and investing in NCDs within the context of an equitable COVID-19 response and recovery, advocating for the needs of people living with NCDs, with the aim of advancing towards Universal Health Coverage, and NCD prevention and control.”

The 2021 Solidarity Fund has been made possible thanks to generous financial contributions of NCD Alliance’s supporters: The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Access Accelerated, AstraZeneca, ECOBANK Foundation and Viatris.

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