From 2 to 3 March 2016, AIM (the International Association of Mutual Benefit Societies) organised an international conference in Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire) on the African mutualist movement’s prospects regarding universal health coverage.
The Education and Solidarity Network was there to talk about social protection education and to meet with its partners, such as the PASS programme, as well as some of its other mutual society members such as the Belgian society Solidaris, the Ivorian mutual society MUGEF-CI, the NGO Asmade from Burkina Faso and the French organisation Essential, which operates in Guinea-Conakry, Burundi and Benin..
The conference was organised by AIM, in collaboration with the UAM-AFRO (West African Regional Office for the African Mutuality Union), PASS (a French programme supporting mutualist health strategies based in Côte d’Ivoire) and Masmut (a Belgian programme supporting mutualist movement structuring).
Talks, workshops and panel discussions tackled the various issues affecting health mutuals when it comes to universal health coverage in Africa:
- Developing and adapting mutuals for the implementation of UHC in Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Burundi, in the UEMOA (West African Economic and Monetary Union)
- National structuring of the mutualist movement in Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Burundi
- Developing a quality mutualist treatment offer: the role of medical advisors, schemes with healthcare institutions, the involvement of mutuals in the management of hospitals and pharmacies
- Objectives and limitations of management tools for an effective and united mutual society
- Improving communication between mutuals, their members and the wider public
- Advocacy strategies to promote the inclusion of mutuals in UHC
- The diverse forms of collaboration and the added value of international action
The Education and Solidarity Network spoke about social protection education, giving the example of the “social security for all” programme developed in Latin America by the CIESS.