Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) made a keynote presentation at the Network for Human Resources for Health in Francophone Africa, TICAD VI Commemoration Symposium on Approaches for Solving HRH Challenges in Pursuit of UHC and The Roles of Regional Networks in the Global Health Trends on the 8th of September 2016 in Tokyo, Japan.
The objective of the high level symposium was to; share the activities and achievements of
Regional Network known as Reseou Vision Tokyo (RVT) that was created in 2012; b) to exchange opinions with specialists of various backgrounds about the common challenges that Francophone African countries confront in HRH; and c) to discuss effective roles of regional networks such as RVT and possible measures for relevant stakeholders to engage in HRH related activities sustainably and effectively.
Prof Francis Omaswa, while making his Keynote Speech titled: Challenges and Opportunities in Human Resources for Health in Africa cited that; “Africa is 11% of the world’s population, BUT half of the world’s burden of maternal and child deaths, 85% of Malaria cases, 67% of AIDS cases and 26% of underweight children are in Africa. Due to an increasing epidemic of non-communicable diseases, Africa is faced with a double burden of diseases, has the highest disease burden, yet the lowest level of financing for health.”
Prof. Omaswa cautioned the populace in his three layered messages by noting that:
1. Unless we Africans, individually and collectively feel the pain and the shame of our condition, we will not have the commitment to take the needed actions to correct our situation.
2. Until and unless in each and every country, there is a critical mass of individuals and institutions that work with their respective governments as both support and accountability agents, it will not be possible to create and sustain enabling environment to quality improvements. 3. And there is Leadership Needed for all this to take shape.
The Symposium that brought together more than 200 participants had representatives from RVT member countries (Senegal, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Togo, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon), health experts from international organizations.
As a way forward for Africa, African Techno-professionals were urged to: Feel the pain and shame and show leadership and ownership, strengthen Health Systems performance and Accountability, Strengthen institutional capacity of HRIPs, Strengthen data and evidence, Strengthen national, regional sharing through Communities of Practice and networks use ICTs; OECD countries to implement WHO Code on International Recruitment of Health Personnel and increase investment in African HRH.
Omaswa quoted from the speech of the Japan prime Minister Shinzo Abe at TICAD V1 in Nairobi where t Prime Minister stated “Africa is now off and running, aiming at long-range goals, aspiring to be a certain kind of continent with certain kinds of countries in 2063”. Omaswa sated that Japan needs to; Play the role of a champion for the African cause in the international level; Support sustainable capacity development of African Institutions; Support partnerships, networking and sharing of RVT and other good practices.
He further quoted another TICAD V1 statement from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that “And Japan is a country that ardently hopes to resolve the issues facing Africa together with Africa, and will not let up in its efforts.”
He concluded by calling upon his fellow Africans to commit themselves to go back to home and transform Africa now each one wherever they work and together as a network to share the rich collective experience of RVT with other parts of Africa.