Members of Parliament and Civil Society Coalition on RMNCH held discussions on advocacy in Sexual Reproductive Health Rights.

on Friday, 16 June 2017.

Prof. Francis Omaswa the Executive   Director of ACHEST giving a meeting overview at MPs and CSOs meetingProf. Francis Omaswa the Executive Director of ACHEST giving a meeting overview at MPs and CSOs meetingAfrican Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) in partnership with the Civil Society Coalition on Maternal Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH) put together a two days meeting for the members of the coalition and Members of Parliament to dialogue on advocacy on Sexual Reproductive Health; Human Resources for Health, Financing; Governance and Commodities.
The two days meeting brought together 17 members of parliament from committees on: Health, Legal, Human Rights and members of the Uganda parliamentary forum on quality of care; and 45 members of the Civil Society from 32 Civil Society organizations working on; youth, children, SRH, policy, HIV/AIDS and Human Resources for Health related issues.
The agenda of the two days meeting that ran from 6th-7th June 2017 at Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala hinged on the Health Systems Advocacy Project that seeks to enable communities realize their right to the highest attainable sexual, reproductive health and rights services (SRHR) by creating space for a strong civil society to engage effectively with governments, the private sector and other stakeholders accountable for health systems, to deliver equitable, accessible and high-quality SRHR services and commodities funded by the Ministry for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation.

Health Systems Advocacy Partners and CSOs commemorate 1st World Preeclampsia day

on Monday, 29 May 2017.

Ms. Lauren a 22 year old woman and her husband were eagerly expecting their first born, like any other couple would.

During one of their antenatal visits at 6 months, everything went well and the couple was told they were expecting twins. This got them really thrilled, but this excitement was short lived.

A few days after, Lauren started feeling pains that were not exactly explained, then swollen feet and swollen body. When she went to a higher level health facility, she was diagnosed with preeclampsia, preeclampsia is a serious disease related to high blood pressure that can strike fast –“eclampsia” which is the Greek word for lightning. She was later referred to Mulago hospital where the fetus was removed to save her life, seven days after the baby died due to breathing related complications.

When further tests were run on Lauren, it was found that her kidneys were damaged.

Lauren is not alone; “10-40 % of the maternal deaths in Uganda are due to preeclampsia. Many women in Uganda die and lose their babies to preeclampsia due to ignorance about the disease which is the second cause of death among pregnant women, second to hemorrhage.”Participants pause for a photo during the press briefing in KampalaParticipants pause for a photo during the press briefing in Kampala
Dr. Annet Nakimuli, a senior Gynecologist and Obstetrician at Mulago Hospital told the press during a press briefing organized by Health Systems Advocacy Partners that include: African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST); Amref Health Africa and Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS) during the Inaugural World Preeclampsia Day held at the Golf Course Hotel on 22nd May 2017 under the theme: “Take the Preeclampsia Pledge – Know the symptoms. Spread the word.

Dr. Nakimuli noted that during the antenatal visits, women find when Blood Pressure machines in some health facilities are non-functional and their conditions never get to be diagnosed at an early stage where the condition is manageable, coupled with the challenge of stock out of Magnesium Sulphate, used in the management of the condition.

The objective of the press briefing was to raise awareness of preeclampsia and its country wide impact on the lives of mothers, babies, and families.

Dr. Jesca Nsungwa Sabiti, Commissioner Planning at Ministry of Health giving the position of government on the available services, space, policies and guidelines for handling preeclampsia noted that preeclampsia is a neglected disease among women and there isn’t any comprehensive data available on preeclampsia, but the ministry of health is working with National Identification and Registration Authority to establish figures.

She recognized the key role played by CSOs in raising awareness and called CSOs to continue with their concerted effort in raising awareness that is geared towards ending the pandemic in Uganda.

The partners presented a joint statement that had clear cut recommendations that include among others: Encourage additional research funding into preeclampsia and related disorders;
Prioritize education, training, and access to medical resources for healthcare providers; Encourage collaboration and partnerships between public and private sector organizations to support and advance these goals; bring the fight nearer to the communities and Join advocacy for adequacy of budgets.

STATEMENT BY PROF. FRANCIS OMASWA AT THE WORLD HEALTH SUMMIT MONTREAL

on Thursday, 18 May 2017.

Think SDG Network Panel. 8th May, 2017. Montreal, Canada.

Introduction:
Prof. Francis Omaswa Executive Director ACHEST Second Left seated in a panel during the World Health SummitProf. Francis Omaswa Executive Director ACHEST Second Left seated in a panel during the World Health SummitI come from Uganda and have been active in the African Region especially the East, Central and Southern Africa part of the continent as well as globally for some time. I am currently the Executive Director of the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) with head office in Kampala, Uganda that works at country, continental and global level to build capacity and synergy for health systems in Africa. Our focused areas of work are health systems leadership and governance and health workforce.
With respect to SDGs, I am proud to remind you that the Minister of Foreign Affairs from Uganda, Hon. Kutesa presided over the 69 session of UN General Assembly during which the formulation of the SDGs was finalized. He was gracious enough to send Ambassador Kafeero who was his Chief of Staff during his tenure as President of the UNGA to the Eastern African SDG HPTT Consultation in Kampala last October 2016. His message was:

The 5th African Health Workforce Forum in Kampala

on Wednesday, 10 May 2017.

Photo2Photo2The African Platform on Human Resources for Health held the 5th African Health Workforce forum at the Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo in Kampala from 19th to 21st April 2017.
The three days high level forum that was premised on the theme: Positioning the African Health Workforce for Sustainable Development that expounded the Human Resources for Health Implications for Universal Health Coverage, the challenges posed by the African context of high population growth with escalating levels of poverty among other challenges in Africa.
The forum that brought together delegates from more than 10 countries from within and without Africa was conducted through; plenary sessions, breakout sessions and discussions under the following thematic streams: Health Workforce education and training; Preparing the African HWF for universal Health Coverage; Leadership for HWF Development Management and Regulation; Nursing and Community Health Workers; and HWF Migration.

ACHEST at the World Health Summit on Social Accountability in Tunis

on Thursday, 11 May 2017.

Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde with the Students Network Organization executive and the Board of Directors of the NetworkDr. Kiguli-Malwadde with the Students Network Organization executive and the Board of Directors of the NetworkDr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, Director Health Workforce Education and Development represented African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) at the World Summit on Social Accountability in health organized by the International French- Speaking Network for Social Accountability in Health (RIFRSS), the Tunis Medical faculty and the Network Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) from 8th to 12th April 2017.
The summit that brought together more than 400 participants from more than 50 countries held in Hammamet, Tunis was premised on the theme: “Improving the impact of education institutions on people’s health. The theme was expounded through subthemes that included: leadership, accreditation, competencies and partnerships among others.
At the conference key note speeches were presented as well as 200 relevant posters, papers and workshops.
Dr. Kiguli MaIwadde who was part of the organizing committee for the conference and the vice secretary General for the Network TUFH presented a poster entitled: “Growing partnerships: Leveraging the power of collaboration between Universities”
As a way forward, the conference came up with a Tunis declaration on Social accountability in health.

ACHEST at the 6th East African Health and Scientific Conference in Bujumbura.

on Thursday, 11 May 2017.

African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHES T) was represented at the 6th East African Health and Scientific Conference and International Health Exhibition and Trade fair by Dr. Peter Eriki, Director Health Systems together with Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, Director Health Workforce Education and Development represented from 29th to 31st March 2017 in Bunjumbura, Burundi.
The three days conference was held at Ecole Technique Professionally and coordinated by the East African Health and Research Commission ( EAHRC) and was premised on the theme: “Preparedness for and control of disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics in the context of Climate change, globalization and gaps in the health System.
The subthemes of the conference included; emerging, re-merging, zoonotic diseases, vaccines, diagnostics and antimicrobial agents in control of communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance, health systems and social mobilization in control of outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics and occupational health, safety and climate change.
During the meeting, Dr. Eriki chaired a panel on Maternal and Child Health while Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde participated in a panel in health professions training in East Africa.
The meeting had very high attendance by participants from the East African region.

Health Systems Advocacy Partners Inaugurate the National Advisory Committee Members in Uganda

on Wednesday, 26 April 2017.

The Health Systems Advisory Partners that include: African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) Amref Health Africa in Uganda and Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS-Uganda) representing Health Action International (HAI) on the 4th April 2017 held an Inauguration meeting of the National Advisory Committee of the Health Systems Advocacy Project at Protea Hotel in Kampala.

The Health Systems Advocacy Project funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs iproject that seeks to contribute towards achieving SRHR through strengthened health systems. In Uganda, this project is being implemented at the national level and at the district level in the six districts of Soroti, Serere, Lira, Dokolo, Kabale and Kisoro. The goal of the project is to enable communities realize their right to the highest attainable sexual reproductive health, crucial for equitable sustainable economic development.

The objectives of the meeting were to: inaugurate the National Advisory Committee (NAC) of the project, disseminate the project base line findings and share the project overview and progress to date. This meeting brought together 100 participants from both the National and district levels that included: Members of parliament, civil society organizations, District Health Officers, the Media; Faith based institutions and local government representatives.

ACHEST Directors speak at the 1st International Symposium on Community Health Workers in Kampala.

on Tuesday, 28 February 2017.

“Most of the health systems are preoccupied with treating diseases, not promoting health. We need strong stewardship and leadership to ensure that we prevent people from falling sick by investing in health systems and getting our leaders to appreciate the wellness based health systems.” Professor Francis Omaswa, Executive Director for African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) remarked while giving a key note address at the 1st International Symposium on Community Health Workers in Kampala.
Expounding on the key note speech titled: “Building a health system that leaves no one behind: Implications for Uganda.” Prof Omaswa stressed the importance of embedding health in governance, reminiscing the way local leaders provided governance on health in their communities which yielded positive results. Local leaders therefore should report health threats to the government leaders just as they report security issues since health is a security issue as well.
The symposium that was held in Kampala from 21st-23rd February 2017 brought together over 200 participants from around the world where about 100 presentations were made packaged in: key note addresses, plenary, poster and breakout sessions organized in partnership between Makerere School of Public Health, Nottingham Trent University and Government o f Uganda.Prof. Francis Omaswa speaking at the 1st International Symposium on Community Health Workers in KampalaProf. Francis Omaswa speaking at the 1st International Symposium on Community Health Workers in Kampala
The Minister for Primary Health Care, Dr. Joyce Kaducu Moriku commended community health workers for the great contribution they made in bridging the gap between the communities and the health centers that immensely led to the reduction of maternal mortality and morbidity contributing to Goal 2 and 3 of the MDGs amidst the limited resources.

ACHEST launched a partnership with the media

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017.

African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) launched a partnership with the media that was aimed at bringing the media on board on the Health Systems Advocacy Partnership project by organizing a two days orientation retreat. The retreat with the theme: The role of the Media in Strengthening Africa’s Health System bro ught together health reporters from 14 media houses including former editors which ran from 24th to 25th November 2016 at City Royal Resort Hotel in Bugolobi.
The health systems advocacy partnership is a project whose goal is to enable communities to realize their right to the highest attainable Sexual and Reproductive health. The project aims to contribute to achieving Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) by creating spaceProf. Francis Omaswa ACHEST ED speaking at the media orientation retreatProf. Francis Omaswa ACHEST ED speaking at the media orientation retreat for a strong civil society to engage effectively with governments, the private sector and other stakeholders accountable for health systems, to deliver equitable, accessible and high-quality SRHR services.

ACHEST held the 3rd African Health System Governance Network in Kampala

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017.

The African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation held its 3rd African Health Systems Governance Network (ASHGOVNET) from the 28th to 30th November 2016 with theme: “Fostering Capacity for Health Governance and Leadership with a focus on Health Workforce Development for Universal Health Coverage” at imperial Royale in Kampala.

Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the Prime Minister of Uganda who was the guest speaker at the opening ceremony noted that strengthening of health systems is a priority in global and national health policy and practice. In Africa for example, the major burden of disease remains attributable to preventable, communicable diseases ranging from endemic diseases such as malaria to emerging and re-emerging infections such as HIV/AIDS, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, pandemics from haemorrhagic fevers, diarrhoeal diseases, and what is described as neglected tropical diseases.

ACHEST attended the 4th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research

on Wednesday, 18 January 2017.

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.

ACHESTs executive director attended the Universal Health Coverage UHC2030 meeting in Geneva.

on Friday, 06 January 2017.

Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) attended the Universal Health Coverage (UHC 2030) meeting with the theme - Working Together to Strengthen Health Systems from 12-13 December2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The objective of the meeting was to foster productive exchange between various health systems partnerships, actors and agencies aimed at building awareness of UHC2030 and explore how to improve collaboration.

UCH2030 initiative builds on the IHP+ initiative and the aim of transforming the IHP+ mandate to UHC initiative is to provide a platform for accelerated, coordinated and sustainable progress towards a universal health coverage in which all partners share the vision of equitable and quality health care that does not cause financial hardships.

Participants that attended the meeting included members of health systems related initiatives inProf. Francis Omaswa (in the middle) speaking to some of the participants during the meeting in Geneva.Prof. Francis Omaswa (in the middle) speaking to some of the participants during the meeting in Geneva. the following health areas: financing and protection, governance, workforce, data, integrated people centred health services, medicines, policy and systems research, and learning and knowledge sharing. Representatives from a range of governments, international development agencies, academia and civil society organizations took part in what turned out to be an energizing and exciting event.

Prof. Francis Omaswa made a presentation in one of the parallel sessions on Human Resources for Health and highlighted the following issues: 1. The global HRH situation will get more complex in the future and requires strong institutions for coordination and joint learning. 2. The Board of the African Platform for HRH met and will convene a members Forum in April 2017.
Dr. Jeanette Vega, the Director of National Chilean Public Health Insurance Agency (FONASA) while giving a keynote address noted that UHC has gained tremendous global momentum in the last few years. Achieving UHC means that all people in the world can access the quality health services they need without suffering financial hardship. Agreeing on the adequate way to fund health systems to maximize financial coverage for health is an imperative.

Dr. Vega urged governments to avoid fragmentation derived from creating separate pools and health coverage schemes for rich and poor populations.
Resilient and inclusive health systems are also increasingly recognized as a first line of defense against emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.
The meeting unanimously agreed that it is time for transformation change in the way health systems issues are transacted within countries.