The Utetezi Pilot Project, funded by the BAND Foundation in 2019, provided funding to five African countries to develop the groundwork to create national epilepsy task forces, the development and implementation of national epilepsy plans, and the introduction of educational initiatives to address the recommendations of WHO Resolution WHA68.20.
The evaluation of the pilot project has provided direction and opportunities which will be harnessed in phase 2, where we will establish a communication plan, website and tool kit to share best practices. Phase 2 offers a small grants program to enable IBE chapters to develop plans at the national level and to work together to develop and disseminate a regional plan of action.
This project is grounded in the core rallying principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – leaving no one behind. During its implementation, and in alignment with the commitment to sustainable development goals of regional governments, effort will be made to identify regional stakeholders to support the project cause. There will be the opportunity also to increase efficiencies and value for money through harmonized operations with the Promising Strategies Program, which are also supported by the BAND Foundation.
In addition, the project seeks to complement the efforts of state and other non-state actors and to empower persons with epilepsy, through capacity building, to influence society at large and policy makers to include epilepsy on national and regional health agendas. Other aspects of the project will be directed at capacity building of regional leadership in the development of well-equipped epilepsy initiatives. Interventions will be focused on both national and regional duty bearers with the aim of awareness raising, information sharing, and empowerment at all levels to break the barriers that hinder access to health services.
In response to the Coronavirus threat, the project will also provide unique, innovative platforms for engagement using online platforms. This initiative recognizes the imperative to collaborate with people with epilepsy if a sustainable intervention is to be achieved. In doing so, we are confident that Epilepsy in Africa will have new face with the vision of contributing to barrier-free health systems.
- To improve the visibility of epilepsy initiatives in Africa
- To strengthen the technical capacity of regional project management teams
- To enhance the capacity of epilepsy organizations to influence health policies
- To strengthen regional engagement and working relationship with WHO AFRO, the African Union (AU), ILAE Africa and the Pan African Parliament (PAP).