Home-Based Care Alliance policy brief: debunking myths
The Home-Based Care Alliance (HBCA) represents more than 30,000 caregivers organised into multi-district HBCAs in twelve African countries, caring for over 200,000 neighbours and friends, and with a history of organising around HIV/AIDS and its effects. The Alliance has published this short policy brief, debunking five of the most prevalent myths perpetuated in policy discussions, and issuing calls for policy demands. The myths contested concern perceptions such as: caregivers lack organisation; caregiving labour is performed by uncommitted, genderless volunteers; anti-retroviral treatment lessens the need for caregivers; that private transactions are the best way to pay caregivers, rather than through public funds; and that there is a lack of evidence-based research proving the value of caregivers’ contributions. Each myth is counteracted, with the Alliance highlighting their own organisational capacity; the holistic breadth of caregiver work in communities they each know so well; the increasing population, and demand for, both care and prevention services; the importance of grants in scaling up efforts; and reference to a World Bank study confirming women’s grassroots organisations capacity to achieve results. The policy brief finishes with a call for a number of policy actions, including:
- Formal recognition of the contributions of women-led HBCAs to care and support in Africa, in the form of priority access to state health-based information and resources, earmarked budgeting of municipal, AIDS Council, and poverty reduction monies for registered community-based HBCA organisations, and seats in planning and decision making bodies.
- Public and philanthropic funding to grow and sustain HBCA activities in the form of grants, savings and credit initiatives, direct funding for capacity building, and public consultations on AIDS-related and health budgets including strong grassroots representation.