The Board of Directors and staff at the Paediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa (PATA) from Wednesday, November 11 to Friday, November 13, 2020, hosted the PATA 2020 Summit, under the theme: “Reaching Goals and Rebuilding on the Frontlines of Paediatric and Adolescent HIV Service Delivery during COVID”, and titled Breakthrough and Build Back together. This year, the summit held in both physical and virtual sessions.
The Cameroon Baptist Convention (CBC) Health Services hosted this summit in Cameroon at the CBC Health Services’ Resource Center, Mvan, Yaounde. The physical and virtual summit was in response to travel restrictions and various COVID-19 lockdown regulations. PATA 2020 Summit was held via a centralized virtual hub that connected to in-country main spokes and satellite spokes. The PATA 2020 Summit is a collaborative meeting that focuses on bringing frontline health providers together with a diverse community, united in a renewed call to action to accelerate efforts to end AIDS in Children and Adolescents. It is a unique activity in the HIV sector which features programming focused on home-grown solutions and also offers a platform that brings frontline health providers, global experts, National Programme Managers and young leaders living with HIV together in a collaborative Linking and Learning forum.
The thematic focus of the PATA 2020 Summit was to breakthrough and continue striving to reach the missed 90-90-90 global targets with a focus on rebuilding and overcoming COVID-19 related setbacks. The summit provided a dynamic and productive Linking and Learning platform to highlight best practices, examine progress, identify gaps and barriers and feature accelerator game-changing strategies against different service delivery frameworks. The CBC Health Services used the occasion to discuss country specific issues, evaluate progress and chart the way forward in Paediatric and Adolescent HIV Care and Treatment Services. Launching the event, the Director of the CBC Health Services Professor Tih Pius Muffih enjoined all participants especially the Peer Supporters and Adolescent Champions to take lead in discussion and challenge experts in order to contribute purposefully to strategies that will enable the attainment of epidemic control in Cameroon by 2021.
Adolescent Champions who attended the summit in Cameroon, used the event as an opportunity to meet other peers around the globe, and also present their challenges, successes, rekindle their enthusiasm as Peer Supporters, and benefit from the knowledge shared by experts across the globe. Closing the summit, the Chief of Service for the HIV Department at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Ketchaji Alice thanked the CBC Health Services for the planning of the Satellite Spoke in Cameroon. She equally appreciated the commitment of the institution in working with Peer Champions, and the committee for the great care rendered to Adolescent Champions. She urged the Champions to use the knowledge gained to benefit them and other adolescents that they will be working with. The CBC Health Services continues to improve its services delivery in the domain of HIV and AIDS in the country. It is worth noting that the CBC Health Services was shortlisted in a video competition titled with the hashtag “#JerusalemaChallenge”, as well as an article dubbed, “Show and Tell”, showing how the institution has adapted its services delivery alongside the novel corona virus.