ERNA Webinar
21st of January 2021
Addressing to specific needs of people living with HIV, Tuberculosis, Hepatitis and drug users in COVID-19 context

Dear colleagues,
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaped and challenged not just our lives but also healthcare organizations, workers and volunteers everywhere in the world, forcing us to keep distance and to re-schedule public health priorities and fast-track initiatives, in order to combat the virus.
As ERNA, since the beginning we’ve raised our attention on the importance of combating viruses, infectious diseases: is part of our policy mandate. In the last years we stressed the importance of the advocacy role of RCRC volunteers can have in improving national initiatives to early detect Hepatitis C, since the new drugs are able to kill the virus, and for Hiv, since the treatment allow patient to make an healthy and normal life, as well said in the slogan Undetectable equal Untransmittable!
We made also many discussions concerning the social and cultural stigma that affect people with drug disorders in our society, and the key role that our volunteers can have in their local communities to recognize these obstacles and try to dismantle the discrimination by bridging the gap to the most vulnerable and helping them to access to health services, or to include them in community social life and alleviate people loneliness.
Unfortunately this covid19 pandemic created more social distance between us, more loneliness and complicated a lot the access to health and care system to everyone, and definitely worsen even more the dramatic conditions of the most marginalized groups. This world challenge of covid19 forced everyone to rethink lives, habits, jobs, priorities.
We can’t miss this reflection as RCRC Regional Network on Hiv, Hepatitis, Tb and Drug Abuse, this is an important opportunity not just to share our experience in our daily job in this time of Covid, but also to rethink together our priorities and strategies for the next months and years in order to contribute and improve health conditions of our target groups.
For this reason, during this 2 hours meeting, I invite you to share also your point of view on ERNA policy framework, that I hope we can continue in a live meeting, within the end of 2021, if vaccination campaign will allow us!

Massimo Barra
ERNA President