In Nigeria the concept of community involvement in improving health and development outcomes is not a new one. According to WHO, further progress is now needed to bring community actors and systems into full partnership with national health and social welfare systems and in particular to ensure that their work for health is better understood and properly funded. Achieving this goal is vital for making progress toward the goals of universal access to health care and realizing the rights of everyone to achieve the highest attainable standards of health, no matter who they are or where they live. The Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) Framework is a contribution toward this goal.
In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and with support from The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a stakeholders’ workshop was held in Abuja on May 30th 2014 to discuss a country-owned community ambienbuy system framework which will help to improve outcomes for health and well-being as well as promote and respect people health and rights in Nigeria.
The workshop was aimed at reviewing the available guidelines, manual, operational strategies and national policy framework for implementation of community system strengthening (CSS) and harmonizing them into a useful national operational framework for CSS. When established, the community systems strengthening (CSS) framework will help to strengthen community systems working to increase people’s access to health, including prevention, care and treatment. In recognition that there are gaps in funding for many aspects of community action related to health, the framework aims to help community based organizations, networks and NGO’s identify their capacity needs and to support policy development, resource mobilization and programme design and implementation to increase access to appropriate services. There are six building blocks underpinning the framework, and these will be described in more detail below.
Participants at the workshop were drawn from the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP), and Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (CiSHAN), Association for Orphaned and Vulnerable Children in Nigeria (AONN), Civil Society for the Eradication of Tuberculosis in Nigeria (TB Network), Civil Society for Malaria Control, Immunization and Nutrition (ACOMIN), as well as the Africa Coalition on Tuberculosis (ACT!)