Want to Improve Access to ARVs?

pills-tablets-800x445AIDS & Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) and International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) are offering an online training course for civil society organizations in Africa. The training will help HIV and health activist groups challenge intellectual property barriers, that impede access to affordable medicines.

The month-long training aims to strengthen civil society’s understanding of how the current patent system prevents access to affordable second and third line HIV and TB, as well as Hepatitis C medicines. You can find out more about the course ‘Addressing Intellectual Property Barriers in African Countries’ (PDF) here.


ITPC is a global movement of people living with HIV, treatment activists and their supporters dedicated to treatment access for all in need. ARASA is a partnership of 106 civil society organisations working together in 18 countries in southern and east Africa to promote a human rights based response to, HIV and TB through capacity strengthening and advocacy.


Trade is central to our daily lives. This includes trade in essential health care commodities such as treatment, tools and diagnostics for communicable and non-communicable diseases in Africa. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) have had a significant impact on the global access to affordable, optimal, safe and efficacious essential medicines and diagnostics.

On completing this course, participants will have an understanding of intellectual property barriers and be able to develop advocacy strategies to address these. Participants will be able to work with policy makers at a domestic level to improve access to sustainable, affordable and safe essential medicines.


This short online course aims to equip participants with:

  1. An understanding and appreciation of the intricate linkages between access to essential HIV, TB and Hepatitis C medicines and the barriers presented by intellectual property legal and policy frameworks.
  2. Increased knowledge around the use of the flexibilities provided for by international trade agreements such as the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), to improve access to medicines at a domestic level.
  3. Provide participants with advocacy tools to equip them to embark on campaigns, which aim to review their domestic patent laws to incorporate the TRIPS-flexibilities.


Anyone interested in learning more about IP as it impacts access to medicines. In the selection of participants, preference will be given to:

  1. African residents working in the area of the right to health, access to medicines, policy makers working on trade and development, human rights organisations (including NGOs and Government agencies), health professionals, legal practitioners and academics;
  2. Are fluent in English;
  3. Have daily access to the internet as well as access to a computer with the following specifications:
    • Operating System: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, ME or XP; MacOS 9 or MacOS X
    • Hardware: minimum 128 Mbytes of RAM preferably 512 MB, 1GByte of free disk space
    • Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel 2000 or higher Adobe Acrobat Reader 5 or higher
    • Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or higher OR Netscape Navigator 5 or higher
    • Modem: 56 kbps minimum
  4. Are committed to participating fully in all the elements of the short course
  5. Are committed to promoting a rights based responses to access to HIV, TB and Hepatitis C medicines in their own countries and in the region, by addressing barriers intellectual barrier rights.


Please send the following:

  1. A one page letter of motivation, setting out why you feel that you would benefit from participating in the short course, and outlining how you will use the skills acquired during the course in your own country;
  2. Your resume / CV;
  3. A letter of support from the organisation you are currently working with / affiliated to.


All applications must be received by close of business on Friday, 23 September 2016. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered. Applications should be submitted by email to Bruce Tushabe, at [email protected] and copied to Lynette Mabote, at [email protected].

The course will take place from the 3rd October – 4th November 2016.