June 2017

Orbis Africa is continually looking for ways to develop and strengthen children’s right to health and partnerships with organisations also working towards this goal amplifies our collective output towards sustainable development.

By Kira-Leigh Kuhnert

It is in light of this approach that the invitation to join the coalition South African Civil Society for Women’s, Adolescents and Children’s Health (SACSoWACH) was an easy decision to make.

SACSoWACH is a national, multi-stakeholder platform established in July 2014 to positively influence policies and programs on reproductive-, maternal-, neonatal-, child- and adolescent health. More than 20 civil society organisations are members of the coalition working tirelessly to advocate and campaign for positive child and maternal morbidity in South Africa. The coalition was launched by South African Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi at the national World Prematurity Day celebrations in November 2015. The coalition’s patron, Dr Tshepo Motsepe, holds a masters in maternal and child health and is a respected advocate for women’s, adolescents’ and children’s issues.

I welcome the coalition, as it has a critical role to play in mobilising communities and supporting our prevention efforts. I invite Dr Motsepe to bring to my attention all gaps and concerns the coalition finds in the governments’ efforts to support women and children’s health

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi

Minister of Health, South Africa

Being a member of SACSoWACH provides Orbis Africa with access to a network of like-minded organisations, allowing for a stronger voice when approaching government. Through the collective, SACSoWACH adds value to the work that has already been done by Orbis Africa on the strengthening of the development component in the amended Road to Health Booklet, and supports the amplification of the eye health section.

Membership of SACSoWACH is an exciting opportunity and Orbis Africa is looking forward to championing the health and developmental rights of children, adolescents and pregnant women, especially with regard to the importance of quality eye health toward a world where no one is needlessly blind.

To find out more about SACSoWACH, visit their website, Like them on Facebook or Follow their Twitter Feed.

Kira-Leigh is the Advocacy Coordinator at Orbis Africa and together with CEO Lene Øverland, she advocates for the inclusion and prioritisation of eye health within broader global development agendas. Through constructive dialogue with key decision-makers, Orbis Africa is working to bring about long-term, sustainable strengthening of the eye health landscape within the countries that we work, promoting eye health for all.