Building Africa's Capacity for Healthier Families
20/12/2013 CAFS LAUNCHES THE TECHNICAL SUPPORT…
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Individuals are greatly influenced not only by their own knowledge about issues but also by social pressures exerted by their peers and the larger community including culture, societal norms, laws and policies. Human behavior does not change in a linear manner. As people move to different stages or steps within the continuum of behavior change, they require different information, messages and support. BCC strategies are therefore designed to accommodate the stage of behavior adoption of an individual and to impart knowledge and skills and provide psychosocial support that individuals need to initiate and sustain change.
Advocacy is a concerted course of action targeted towards decision makers and using information strategically to change legal frameworks, policies, or programmes. It is a requisite tool for reproductive health and HIV & AIDS programme managers and service providers engaged in interventions to improve lives and the welfare of populations throughout the world.. As competition for scarce resources increases, advocacy skills become an important tool in influencing the decision-making process regarding resource allocation.
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Since the 1994 Cairo Conference, most African Countries have adopted population policies. However a number of constraints have hindered their implementation. Building the capacities of institutions responsible for implementing these policies by improving operational research, training service providers; sensitizing decision makers on reproductive health and health and development issues in general; focusing on meeting objectives and disseminating correct information on family health issues are some of the needs that must be addressed. CAFS has developed organization development programmes to assist in improving institutional effectiveness by helping members in an organization to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to solve problems by involving them in the change process and by promoting high performance
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Community-based reproductive health services are an effective mode of service delivery. Family planning programmes have used this mode of delivery to meet the needs of rural and slum dwellers. Since ICPD in Cairo, the scope of reproductive health programmes, including the community based ones has expanded. Community based health services have developed from an alternative delivery system for controlling communicable diseases and promoting maternal and child health. Good management is critical to the success of community based health care programmes. Strategic management skills are required to meet these challenges
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In most developing countries, gender inequality is a major obstacle to meeting goal 3 of the Millennium Development Goals (Promote Gender Equality and empower women). Achieving the goals will be impossible without closing the gaps between women and men in terms of capacities, access to resources and opportunities, and vulnerability to violence and conflict. Gender-based violence is a pervasive public health and human rights issue throughout the world. The consequences of gender-based violence to women, their children, families and communities are a major obstacle to achieving gender equality and enjoyment of universal human rights.
Incidences of sexual and gender based violence are particularly rampant among populations affected by armed conflicts. While international declarations and frameworks with recommendations on how to deal with perpetrators of gender-based violence exist, they are, by themselves, not adequate to change people’s attitudes and practices, which in many communities are reinforced by gender norms and power relations. CAFS helps Programme managers and health care service providers, to get technical capacity to engage communities to examine and challenge cultural values and norms while at the same time being careful not to create misunderstanding, unnecessary tensions and antagonism.
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Over the past two decades, 25 million of people have died of HIV & AIDS related illnesses. Intense intervention efforts have slowed down the rate of new infections, however, despite the progress seen in some countries and regions, the number of PLWHA continues to rise. In response to this, CAFS has designed programmes to build the capacity of individual, groups and organisations with the view to curb the pandemic.
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Knowledge management encompasses a range of practices used in an organization by individuals or through systems to identify, create, share, document and adopt information and experiences. An organization's knowledge is one of its most important assets. Institutional knowledge is frequently used ineffectively, misplaced, or lost. Knowledge management will focus on organizational objectives such as improved performance including time and resource management, sharing of lessons learnt and better practices, innovation and competitive advantage of an organization
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The increasingly fast moving and competitive environment we face in the 21st century demands greater leadership and management from people in order to make organisations prosper. Without leadership, organisations stagnate, lose their way and eventually suffer the consequences. Various factors inside and outside the organisation affect performance and contribute to an organisation's results. Most of these factors can be influenced either positively or negatively by good or bad leadership and management.
Throughout Africa dynamic leaders and managers of Reproductive Health and HIV & AIDS Programmes are seeking practical assistance in leading and managing their organisations and Programmes. The reality of the HIV & AIDS epidemic requires that Reproductive Health and HIV & AIDS Programmes are well designed and managed in order to achieve desired results. While prevention of HIV infection remains the most important approach to the control of the epidemic, care and support for the infected and affected is becoming crucial.
CAFS developed programmes to respond to the needs in this area through courses, technical assistance and research.
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Reproductive Health issues remain major cause of ill health for women of childbearing age in the world and especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The importance of RH in development has been acknowledged by all development players. In 2005, world leaders agreed to include access to RH into their national health strategies to attain the MDGs. CAFS is committed to making changes and improvements in SRH area for better life of families by 2015.
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