From 27 May to 2 June 2018, team members of the COHESION Project met in Mozambique to fine tune the development of the interventions, work on joint outputs and plan for the second phase of the project. During these days, cross-country and country-specific discussions were held.
The project benefited from the insights and experience of Prof. Dinky (Naomi) Levitt, Head of Diabetic Medicine and Endocrinology at the University of Cape Town and Director of the Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa (CDIA), who was present during the first two days of the meeting. Her inputs and feedback provided new perspectives on the design and evaluation of the interventions and were extremely beneficial to the overall project and discussions over the rest of the week.
A meeting with stakeholders from Maputo and the selected sites: Xipamanine and Moamba, served as a venue to discuss the proposed interventions and the responsiveness framework guiding them. The meeting started with a presentation by Dr. Claire Somerville, project co-applicant from Geneva, who provided an overview of what gender means as a social determinant of health and what it means in the context of NCDs and NTDs.
Dr. Kathia Munguambe from the local team led conversations between the team and local stakeholders, where the latter expressed their views, manifested agreement with the responsiveness framework and provided feedback to the content of the interventions. Participants commented on the relevance of the project and the importance of its continuity to help address diseases that are less prioritized than other diseases.
During this week, a delegation of the COHESION team visited the Primary Health Care Centre (PHC) located in Moamba, followed by a meeting with community leaders. Both, the health worker that guided the team during the PHC visit and participants in the community exchange, shared some of the challenges they face in relation to NCDs and NTDs, particularly in relation to resource allocation when compared with diseases like HIV/AIDs and malaria.
We are grateful to Mozambique’s stakeholders for the cordiality expressed during our meetings and community visit, and for welcoming the Project.