OVERVIEW OF ACCAF
Africa Coordination Centre for abandonment of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (ACCAF) was formally established in 2012 as a trans-disciplinary, both in approach and personnel to champion efforts and address the gaps in abandonment of FGM/C in the Africa region within one generation. The Centre is hosted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, at the University of Nairobi with the overall aim of strengthening capacity in the region for research, implement interventions and monitor progress in accelerating efforts towards the abandonment of FGM/C and improved care for women and children suffering negative consequences of the practice. During 2011 international conference hosted by the Centre, it was mandated to coordinate research, training/capacity building, dissemination of evidence based practices and strategies for abandonment of FGM, influence policy and behavior change.
A Resource/Coordination Centre in Africa could help to stimulate and facilitate the situation for many who feel alone in their work in their own institutions and countries, providing support of various kinds and opportunities for capacity building. Strengthening capacity in Africa for producing evidence, improving care, implementing interventions and monitoring progress is the key to hastening abandonment efforts.
Our vision is to be a centre of excellence championing multidisciplinary collaborator efforts with the goal of accelerating the abandonment of GM/C in Africa and beyond.
The Centre will contribute to the abandonment of FGM within Africa and beyond through innovative research, leadership, training, health care and guidance, advocacy for cultural change, and networking and capacity strengthening.
The University of Nairobi has existing local, African and global relationships with many organizations/institutions and individuals that have offered their support in the establishment of the Centre. The Centre is in partnership with other universities and international organizations, including the Special Programme of Research, Development and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) of the World Health Organization, UNFPA, UNICEF, USAID, the University of Sydney, Australia, the International Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Ghent, Belgium, the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. These partners have been brought together as a trans-disciplinary team, composed of experts with specific interest in different aspects of FGM/C.
African institutions that have been in partnership for FGM/C research include: Université Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal; The Department of Community Health at the College of Health Sciences at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria; The Egyptian coalition of NGOs , Assiut University Jimma University, Ethiopia; Karolinska Institutet, Freetown, Sierra Leone; University of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan; Université de Bamako, Mali; and The School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Kenya Methodist University.
Pertinent research, capacity building and work experience representative accomplishment in developing countries in implementing program and activities on FGM/c:
- Mainstreaming the teaching on sexuality in curricula of Obstetrics and Gynaecology undergraduate and postgraduate programs in UoN
- Training on Family Life
- Training in epidemiology, medical anthropology, and population dynamics
- Community sensitization projects on FGM/C sexual and reproductive health issues
- Training of health workers s advocates of FGM/C abandonment
- Evaluation for strengthening health systems to increase utilization of safe motherhood and obstetric fistula services project in East Africa.
- Training on sexual and reproductive health, in Anglophone Africa
The ACCAF is based in Nairobi, with coordinating offices in Egypt and Bukina Faso to coordinate the activities of ACCAF in the arab speaking and francophnone countries respectively.
ACCAF OBJECTIVES & STRATEGIES
The Centre will have four objectives:
1. Identify knowledge gaps and support and stimulate research in the field of FGM/C.
2. Support networking and knowledge exchange between researchers, health professionals and community workers on the abandonment of FGM/C.
3. Improve health care for women and children who have undergone FGM/C.
4. Advocate, educate and create a supportive environment for cultural change.
Administrative Structure of ACCAF: As a Collaborative Centre, ACCAF will be expected to respond to national, regional and international needs. The Centre has the following administrative framework in order to effectively manage the Centre’s activities and meet the expectations of various collaborators, partners, and stakeholders.