With the financial support of Luxembourg, ENDA Santé organized on Thursday, May 4, 2017 in Dakar, a day of exchanges on Disability and HIV. Chaired by Ms. Safiatou Thiam, Executive Secretary of the National AIDS Council (CNLS), this day of exchange included among its participants Ms. Tania Martins Head of Cooperation of Luxembourg in Senegal, Mr. Demba Koné, Country Director of UNAIDS, Mr. Yatma Fall, President of the West African Federation of People with Disabilities, Mr. Oumarou Manou Mahamadou, National Coordinator of OPEHN MURNA YARA, recipient of the F2I 2022/2023, Dr Fatoumata Traoré representative of ENDA Mali, also recipient of the F2I, associations of disabled people from Mbour and Dakar and other actors of the HIV response.
The overall aim was to put the issue of HIV and disability at the heart of the discussions. The meeting also provided an opportunity to hand over the Innovation Fund grants to the 2 organizations chosen following the selection process. For Nguissali Turpin, Executive Director of ENDA Santé, this initiative is groundbreaking and avant-garde, and will have a positive impact on health and development.
This year's call for projects was launched on the theme of "Innovating to strengthen access to HIV and sexual and reproductive health services for people living with disabilities, a way for ENDA Santé, through its FEVE IMPULSE regional program, to address the issue of disability in relation to HIV.
People with disabilities are a particularly vulnerable population, as they are more often affected by poverty, physical and sexual violence and have less access to education. Between 2016 and 2018, bio-behavioral studies carried out among people living with disabilities in Senegal, but also in Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Niger, revealed that HIV prevalence is on average three times higher among people with disabilities compared to the rest of the population. This high prevalence varies according to the type of disability and gender.
Luxembourg's Head of Cooperation, Ms Tania Martins, believes that the two projects selected are concrete examples of collaboration for an inclusive response to HIV. For them, these 2 projects offer a more adapted and inclusive response for people with disabilities, and provide adapted information and messages.