Multistakeholder Engagement on #ZikhalaKanjani Implementation
The South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) together with the Gauteng PCA hosted a two-day Youth #ZikhalaKanjani Implementation Plan Workshop in Johannesburg from 05 to 06 June 2023, for an inclusive multisectoral alignment with the recently launched National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV, TB and STIs (2023-2028) and to assist provinces to monitor the implementation of the strategy.
The aim of the workshop was to develop a joint multisectoral implementation plan that will guide the provincial youth HIV, TB and STI response. Key stakeholders including youth representatives from the Johannesburg area, mostly colleges and university students, were invited to the workshop for induction on the #ZikhalaKanjani strategy, and how the strategy aligns with the new NSP. Presentations made at the workshop included those from SANAC, the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH), PEPFAR, NACOSA, and the Gauteng Office of the Premier.
At the end of the She Conquers Campaign in 2019 SANAC undertook a national process to develop a strategy that would include youth in their diversity and to address some of the gaps identified by the She Conquers Campaign evaluation. Extensive consultative processes were undertaken with young people across the country to develop a new HIV prevention strategy that was lead and endorsed by young people. This saw the birth of the New HIV Prevention Strategy called #ZikhalaKanjani which was officially launched in Limpopo Province by Deputy Minister of Health, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and led by SANAC CSF National Youth Sector leadership in June 2022. This strategy was not only developed by young people, it was also designed by young people so that it reflects the needs, wants and interests of young people in the country.
During the SANAC Presentation, the National Youth Ambassador, Ms. Koketso Rathumbu emphasised that, “the Youth HIV Implementation Strategy mainly focuses on youth around ages 15 – 24 years and young people belonging to key vulnerable populations identified in the new NSP. The country still needs young driven individuals to drive the campaign and make sure we leave no one behind.”
Other presentations focused on the Human Rights Advocacy Programme for the Gauteng regions on their progress towards the objective of preventing new HIV infections, TB, Hepatitis among youth who inject drugs.
The PEPFAR presentation focused more on its global programme to reduce HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women, to help the AGYW develop into a Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe Women (DREAMS) across 15 countries.
The workshop attracted key stakeholders inclusive of Government Departments (DBE, DOH, DSD, Community Safety, Sports), Metro and District AIDS Council Secretariats, Civil Society Sectors, Developmental Partners, Implementing Partners, and young people across 5 districts of the province.