African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) was represented at the 4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research with the theme: Resilient and Responsive Health Systems for a Changing World by Dr. Peter Eriki, Director Health Systems and Dr. Vincent Ojoome, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation. The symposium ran from the 14th -18th of November 2016 in Vancouver Canada.
Health Systems Global organizes a symposium every two years to bring together its members with the full range of players involved in health systems and policy research and the 4th symposium participants included researchers, policy-makers, funders, implementers, civil society and other stakeholders from relevant national and regional associations and professional organizations from India, China, Africa, Europe, Japan among other places to stimulate research in countries so as to develop solutions that can stand a taste of time in the hard days.
The symposium realized that many health system drivers lie outside traditional ‘health’ boundaries and working on them requires diverse groups to be brought together, including policy-makers, activists, community representatives, administrators, researchers and educators. Social mobilization and inter-sectoral action are therefore essential for re-orienting health systems to be more people-centred. Research can evaluate and suggest new ways in which health systems and inter-sectoral collaborations can better respond to people’s emerging health needs, be directly accountable to communities, and ensure the rights and dignity of all people who use and provide health care services.
There was strong representation from Africa and Uganda in particular; Makerere University was evidently represented and representatives from Uganda presented very good papers that generated a lot of discussions.
The recommendation for countries to be assisted by research institutions locally and internationally by North and South institutions so as to use their health systems to promote resilient and responsive health systems to pave way for universal health coverage was stressed.