Strategic exchange with representatives from civil society and communities

The civil society virtual meeting held on 16 October 2020 provided an opportunity to share updates on WHO’s work on HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in 2020 and hear feedback from civil society and community partners on key issues and questions to be explored at the WHO Strategic and Technical Committee on HIV and Viral Hepatitis (STAC-HIVHEP) scheduled to meet virtually from 28-30 October.

<p>The WHO Department of Global HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections Programmes (HHS) convened 65 members of former civil society reference groups for HIV and hepatitis, the WHO advisory group of women living with HIV and community and
civil society representatives who had formally engaged with the department in recent years to a virtual exchange of ideas on 16 October 2020.</p><p>The meeting provided an opportunity to share updates on WHO&rsquo;s work on HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in 2020 and hear feedback from civil society and community partners on key issues and questions to be explored at the
WHO Strategic and Technical Committee on HIV and Viral Hepatitis (STAC-HIVHEP) scheduled to meet virtually from 28-30 October. Participants were invited to share ideas around four areas:&nbsp;</p><ul><li>Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on essential HIV, hepatitis and STI services;</li><li>Proposing key elements, themes and principles for 2022-2030 strategies;</li><li>Balancing the need for disease specificity and sustainability in health including through universal health coverage, primary healthcare and health systems strengthening; and</li><li>Raising the profile of STIs.</li></ul><p>During discussion meeting participants stressed the importance of WHO securing support for 2022-2030 strategies and described the impact of COVID-19 on the disruption of essential HIV, hepatitis and STI services exacerbated by the influence of populist
challenges to science, community organizing and rights. WHO was also encouraged to be bolder in highlighting the countries, regions and populations were progress is unacceptably slow, including as a result of policy and financial barriers. Other issues
raised during the meeting included:</p><ul><li>Future strategies must urgently prioritize key populations for all three disease areas, universal health coverage and should include further focus on criminalization, prisoners, social determinants and people in humanitarian crises including displaced
and migrant populations;</li><li>Re-focus on prevention, including primary prevention, across the disease areas with a clear focus on reaching priority populations first and enhancing support to innovation;</li><li>The importance of raising the profile of HTLV1 as a sexually transmitted infection and encouraging expanded HTLV1 testing and prevention programming including through safer sex and condom promotion with links to other disease areas and sexual reproductive
health and rights;</li><li>COVID-19 mitigation approaches should continue to promote and support funding for community delivery of services including for testing, harm reduction and other prevention services and the distribution of medicines for HIV and viral hepatitis;</li><li>WHO should ensure that guidance on all disease areas and on COVID-19 seeks to ensure women&rsquo;s sexual and reproductive health and rights by maintaining essential services and ensuring an increased focus on gender based and intimate partner violence
and mental health;</li><li>Participants shared perspectives on how &ldquo;COVID criminalization&rdquo; was impacting on sex workers, people who use drugs and other key populations and called for further attention on the health of prisoners in context of COVID-19;</li><li>WHO was asked to optimize all options to secure lower commodity prices including for middle-income countries and to apply the learning and expertise from HIV and hepatitis access strategies to emerging COVID-19 commodities;</li><li>Essential HIV, hepatitis and STI services and interventions need to be included in all essential UHC packages in all countries with WHO support including through the planned UHC Compendium;</li><li>WHO has an important role in ensuring that community-based data generation and digital approaches are valued and supported and that funders see the value in community-based and community-led responses.</li></ul><p>A number of community and civil society participants who joined the exchange on 16 October are also STAC-HIVHEP members including: Javier Hourcarde Bellocq from Argentina, Othman Mellouk from Morocco, Isabelle Andrieux-Meyer from Switzerland, Annette Sohn from Thailand and Oanh Khuat Thi Hai from Viet Nam. Cary James from the UK will also attend as an observer. All agreed to ensure that key points, including detailed points not captured here, raised during the consultation are shared at the STAC-HIVHEP meeting for consideration.</p><p></p>

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Kim Sledge and the World We Want partner with WHO Foundation to re-record unity anthem “We Are Family” in response to COVID-19 and to focus on global public health needs

Sen Okt 19 , 2020
<ul> <li>Special edition cover of the classic song “We Are Family’ will be accompanied by a worldwide viral video starring celebrities, frontline health heroes, leaders and members of the public singing together in a show of solidarity and support for addressing present and future global public health needs, including COVID-19.</li> <li>Launching today, the #WeAreFamily video campaign will invite people worldwide to star in the music video, recording videos of themselves with their close family and friends singing the song and then sharing this on their social media channels. </li> <li>Part of the proceeds from the new song, being released 9 Nov, will be donated to the WHO Foundation to support the response to COVID-19 and promotion and protection of health for people around the world. </li> </ul> <div> </div> <p>A special edition cover of Sister Sledge’s timeless hit We Are Family will be released in a new and inspiring call for global solidarity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to generate proceeds to address the most pressing global health challenges of our time. The initiative is being launched by The World We Want, the global social impact enterprise, and Kim Sledge, part of the legendary multi-Gold and Platinum recording music group, in benefit of the WHO Foundation, and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).<br> <br> This new initiative, being launched ahead of United Nations Day on 24 October, will also be accompanied by a unique video and social media campaign, and sound a bold and hopeful call for solidarity, unity, and collaboration to promote and protect the health and wellbeing for every person on the planet. <br> <br> <strong>A call for solidarity </strong><br> <br> </p> <p>The inspiration to release a special edition of the classic track came in March 2020 as communities around the world were left reeling from the impact of COVID-19.</p> <p>Kim Sledge said: “From the doctors and nurses on the front lines, to the paramedics and police, from the midwives and scientists to the carers for the vulnerable, the We Are Family initiative will salute each and every one with a feeling of unity, strength and solidarity in response to the unprecedented challenges the world faces as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.”</p> <p>“There are many people who motivated me to embark on this new initiative in support of making <em>We Are Family</em> come to life, and who are very dedicated to finding ways to conquer this crisis. They include my close family friend Lou Weisbach, my Mercy Seat Ministry brothers and sisters, and all of the global health workers, scientists, the essential labourers, care givers and emergency personnel around the world who have been working day and night during the pandemic in support of others,” added Kim, a vocalist, philanthropist, novelist, songwriter, producer and Minister.</p> <p>Using music’s universal power in bringing the world together, the #WeAreFamily campaign is focused on raising awareness on, and much needed resources for, addressing global public health needs, from emergency preparedness, outbreak response, and stronger health systems to promoting mental health and preventing non-communicable diseases.</p> <p>Natasha Mudhar, founder of The World We Want and the driving force behind the #WeAreFamily campaign, said: “We Are Family is one of the most instantly recognizable anthems in the world.  The song carries such an inspiring message of unity and solidarity. We are certain that the We Are Family song and video initiative is being launched at the right time. It is a rallying cry for togetherness, for the strength of our global family. We are all together during these times.”<br> <br> <strong>Special edition version song to support health efforts</strong><br> <br> </p> <p>The special edition of the classic <em>We Are Family </em>song will be released online for download on 9 November 2020 in conjunction with the opening of the World Health Assembly, at which Kim Sledge is also scheduled to perform the song alongside choral singers from New York to Tonga. A portion of the song’s proceeds will be donated to the WHO Foundation to support the delivery of life-saving health services.</p> <p>Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organization, said: “We Are Family is more than a song. It is a call to action for collaboration and kindness, and a reminder of the strength of family and the importance of coming together to help others in times of need.”<br> <br> Dr Tedros added: “Now more than ever, communities and individuals all over the world need to heed this message and come together, as a global family, to support each other through this COVID-19 challenge, and to remember that our health and wellbeing is our most precious gift. I am grateful to Kim Sledge and the World We Want for sharing this masterpiece and message of hope with us all. It is only through national unity and global solidarity that we will overcome COVID-19 and ensure people all over the world attain the highest level of health and well-being."<br> <br> <strong>Join the We Are Family video campaign</strong><br> <br> In support of the song’s release, a call is being launched today (19 October) for people worldwide to submit videos of themselves singing We Are Family for inclusion in a unique and inspiring compilation video for release on 7 December 2020. This video will honour the incredible work of the frontline workforces risking their lives around to save ours, and all those around the world who have been affected by the pandemic.<br> <br> To submit sing-along videos to the Special Edition Cover Version of the We Are Family song, the key steps are:<br> <br> </p> <ul> <li>Record yourself singing <em>We Are Family </em>either alone, or with friends and family, whilst observing physical distancing guidelines.</li> <li>Share the video on your favourite social media channel, with the hashtag #WeAreFamily #COVID19 #HealthforAll and tag @WHO, @The_WorldWeWant and @thewhof.</li> <li>Upload your video to <span>https://unitystrong.com.  </span></li> <li><span> </span>If you want your video to be considered for inclusion in the global <em>We Are Family</em><span> video, you will need to share your video by Monday, 30</span><sup> </sup><span>November 2020.</span></li> <li><span> </span>Video clips will be selected based on age, geographical diversity, and appropriate physical distancing if the video includes groups of people beyond immediate family members and correct handwashing if singing along to the song while washing hands.</li> <li>More details including Terms & Conditions can be found here <a href="http://www.unitystrong.com/">www.unitystrong.com</a><span>. </span></li> </ul> <p>For further information, please contact The World We Want:  WAFmedia@theworldwewant.global</p> <div> </div>