ACHEST at the 65th East, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) Health Ministers conference in Dar es Salaam

on Saturday, 24 March 2018.

Dr. Patrick Kadama , Director Policy and Strategy together with Dr. Peter Eriki, Director Health Systems represented the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) at the 65th ECSA Health Ministers ’ Conference, held at Kilimanjaro Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dar es Salaam, from 19th – 21st March 2018.
The 3 days conference hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania, through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDEC) in collaboration with the ECSA Health Community brought together Ministers of Health, Senior Officials from Ministries of Health in the Member states, partners, Health training institutions and health Research institutions.
The conference was themed “Multi-sectoral Collaboration for Health towards Achievement of the SDGs” and covered the following sub themes: Governance and Leadership Practices in the Health sector; Mitigating the Impact of emerging and re-emerging diseases; Multi-Sectoral responses to Non-communicable Diseases and; Accountability for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health post-2015.

The Right Honorable Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa (M.P), Prime Minister of The United Republic of Tanzania opened the conference and reiterated the commitment of Tanzania in continuing to host the ECSA Health Community in Arusha, Tanzania and to continue supporting the organization in every way.

65th Health Ministers Conference65th Health Ministers Conference

Dr. David O. Okello joins ACHEST as Director, Non Communicable Diseases and Healthy Aging

on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.

Dr. David. O Okello at the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation ACHEST officesDr. David. O Okello at the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation ACHEST officesDr David Okello, a retired World Health Organisation (WHO) expert, who in the past 5 years was serving as Head of Mission and Representative of WHO to Zimbabwe where he was responsible for the activities of WHO in the country joined the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) on 17th January 2018 to add his wealth of expertise to the pool of the existing health Think Tanks.

Prior to this, Dr Okello served as WHO Representative in Nigeria, Kenya and Swaziland; and for a period of about one year in 2006 was also responsible for overall oversight of the WHO Country office in South Africa. The work of WHO Country Representative involved working with top Government officials to provide policy advice on matters of health and development, and directing the work of WHO – including in-country coordination of WHO technical support using resources available in the country offices and in liaison with the Regional Office and the Global HQ.

Dr Okello is a public health veteran, with more than 35 years of national and international experience. He joined WHO’s Africa Regional Office in 2000 and has served during different periods of his career in WHO as Director of WHO Cluster on AIDS, TB and Malaria (ATM) in the African Region, the Coordinator of the Inter-Country Support Team for the East and Southern African countries and as Regional Advisor on Health Research Policy, Coordination and Development. As Director/ Aids TB and Malaria Programme, he supervised WHO’s work in contributing to the reduction of disease burden due to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the countries of WHO Africa Region.

ACHEST held a Stakeholders Consultative workshop for harmonizing Laws on Regulation of Health Professionals.

on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.

Photo for website1Photo for website1On 12th January 2018, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) held a half day Stakeholders Consultation Workshop for harmonizing Laws on Regulation of Health Professionals aimed at strengthening Councils Capacity to oversee and regulate quality of Private Health Practices in Uganda at Hotel Africana, Kampala.
The objectives of the workshop included: to present and discuss program results, engage stakeholders to discuss the way forward on the harmonization of regulation of health professionals in Uganda and; Generate consensus on the harmonization recommendations to the Minister of Health. The Professional Council representatives were from; The Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council, the Uganda Allied Health Professionals’ Council and the Uganda Pharmacy Council.
“The regulation of health professionals belonging to the same disciplines, but subscribing to different regulatory bodies continues to pose a challenge of enforcing and maintaining the desired quality and professional standards.” Dr. Sarah Byakika, Commissioner Planning at the Ministry of Health remarked while giving the opening remarks on behalf of the Director General, Ministry of Health.
Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of ACHEST while speaking on the topic: Harmonization from Training to Practice called for strengthening of the professional colleges so that the professionals themselves supervise the different practices. The surgically related professionals should be working together with the Allied Health Professionals; Anesthetic people should be working together with the doctors to achieve quality services. If the harmonization of all this is not done, we are headed for disastrous times ahead. Prof. Omaswa warned.
During the meeting, the Legal Consultant, Robert Kirunda made a presentation on the Legal reforms and progress towards harmonization and advised that, “The laws made should ensure that the professional health practitioners are comfortable to practice while the patients are adequately protected as they seek health services.”
Prof. Joel Okullo, the Chairperson for Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council applauded the USAID/Uganda Private Health Support Program for the great work done through ACHEST in contributing towards building capacity of Health professional Councils in Uganda. “The capacity of the councils has been strengthened and the councils have since gained international recognition to the point that other countries are now benchmarking from Uganda.”
The program launched in December 2015 has achieved its objectives that include updating and revision of all three Health Professionals Councils’ regulations, Streamlining laws, Consolidating and Digitizing Professional and Facility Licensing Systems and Creating Critical Tools for Quality Assurance. Harmonization of the reviewed Acts for all the councils to promote streamlined regulation of health professionals aimed at improved quality of care in Uganda remains one of the key deliverables of the project.
To achieve the harmonization process, the meeting agreed to constitute a small working group constituted by representatives from the four councils to be coordinated by the Registrars’ forum, chaired by the Ministry of Health.
Dithan Kiragga, the Chief of Party for USAID/Uganda Private Health Support Program commended ACHEST for the work well done and noted that, this has been one of the best USAID funded projects implemented with great success.

Compiled by Loice Epetiru,
Communications Specialist, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST)

The Health Systems Advocacy Partnership 2017 Joint Action Planning Meeting in Kampala

on Thursday, 07 December 2017.

Prof. Francis Omaswa SpeakingProf. Francis Omaswa SpeakingThe Health Systems Advocacy Partners (ACHEST, HAI, Amref Health Africa and Wemos) convened for the second annual Joint Action Planning Meeting in Kampala at Hotel Africana from 28th-30th November 2017. This meeting brings together the entire project implementing partnership team from all the eight contexts which include: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, the Africa Region, European Union and the Global Context.
The main objective of the Joint Action Planning meeting was to review the outcomes of 2017 and fine-tune plans for 2018, with a specific focus on strengthening thematic linkages within and across contexts.
The meeting was divided into three main sessions: Outcome harvesting where partners reflected on the outcomes for 2017 using the outcome harvesting methodology, planning for 2018 where partners reflected on how to strategically position themselves in 2018 to deliver the project and the joint advocacy efforts in which partners made reflections on advocacy efforts they could all contribute to and synergize given their unique niches and contributions to the programme.
During the meeting, partners presented Master Class sessions in which best practices were shared by all partners while Poster sessions gave all participants opportunities to appreciate how each partner implemented activities in 2017.

Joint Action Planning Meeting for the HSAP taking place on 28th-30th November 2017, Kampala Uganda.

on Tuesday, 28 November 2017.

Every year all the Health Systems Advocacy Partners (HSAP) convene in a chosen country led by the Coordinating office in the Netherlands for a Joint Action Planning meeting. The meeting brings together all the implementing partners to share; work plans, strategies, successes, lessons learnt, challenges and opportunities for the past and coming implementation periods. The event gives an opportunity for all partners to meet and reflect on the year’s happenings while also shaping the plans for the next year into concrete actions.

The objectives of the Joint Action Planning meeting are:
• Review and reflect on results of 2017 implementation by partners, and Identify the contribution of some results by partners to outcomes in the ToC per HSA Context
• Present to partners and discuss our work plan for 2018 (Including policy advocacy strategies for 2018 according to thematic areas and contexts (Country, regional and global work agenda).
o Align advocacy strategies to thematic areas and harmonize across contexts
o Fine tune advocacy agenda and related advocacy messages for 2018
o Identify commonalities in the advocacy agenda with other partners for co-ordination
o Work plan for generation of new evidence and learning –our research agenda

After a successful kick-off of the inception phase of the Health Systems Advocacy (HSA) Partnership which concluded with a Joint Action Planning meeting in Nairobi in 2016, all HSA teams were energized and inspired to work along aligned and integrated work plans for the second year of the partnership. 2017 brings yet another opportunity for the second edition of the Joint Action Planning meeting.

This year’s Joint Planning meeting will bring together over 40 participants from all the contexts of; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Regional and Global to Kampala, Uganda from 28 to 30 November 2017. During this session the different organizations will present posters depicting their in 2017 and a Masters Class program where they will share strategies they have successfully employed and lessons learnt. The event will also give an opportunity to discuss in detail the ToC for Tanzania and Malawi that are new entrants and work plans as well as agreeing on the learning agenda for the Partnership and the upcoming CSO Symposium in 2018.

 Compiled by Loice Epetiru,

Communications Specialist, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST)

ACHEST at the 4th Global forum on Human Resources for Health in Dublin

on Tuesday, 28 November 2017.

The 4th Global forum on Human Resources for Health is an event that takes place every four years and brings together stakeholders from around the world to discuss the global Human Resources for Health (HRH) agenda with the aim of attaining universal health coverage, health security and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s event was held from 13th to 17th November 2017, at the Royal Dublin Society in Ireland. The forum was premised on the theme: “Health Systems for the Future: 2030 and Beyond.” The event brought together more than 1000 delegates from over 90 countries from across sectors and institutions including representatives of: governments, UN Family, academia, civil society and youth and discussed all aspects of HRH.
The African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) was represented by a high level delegation of seven people who included; Francis Omaswa, Peter Eriki, Patrick Kadama, Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, Vincent Ojoome, Robert Odedo and Loice Epetiru. Their participation was supported by the WHO except for one delegate who was sponsored by the HSA Partnership project.
During the Forum, ACHEST was; convener, speaker or chaired a number of track sessions, side events and plenary sessions as follows:
1. The Global Health Workforce Network Side Event – Speaker Francis Omaswa
2. Leadership Hub of GHWFN Side Event: Speaker Francis Omaswa
3. Brain Drain Brain Gain Side Event – Conveners and Speaker All and Hon Sarah Opendi
4. Reseau Vision Tokyo Side Event – Speaker Francis Omaswa
5. CSO Coalition on HRH Side Event, -Convener, Speaker All and Francis Omaswa
6. Making Partnerships Work for Workforce 2030 – Moderator Francis Omaswa, Speaker, Elsie, Kiguli-Malwadde
7. How Quality Improvement Empowers Health Workers to Improve Performance–Moderator Francis Omaswa, Speaker Vincent Ojoome.
8. The African HRH Platform Side Event : Convener and Speakers
9. Delivering Health in Rural Communities: Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde Speaker
10. How to Advance Political Will and Improve Accountability: Patrick Kadama Speaker
11. Governance and Accountability: Moderator Patrick Kadama
12. Closing Plenary : Speaker Francis Omaswa

ACHEST at the First Uganda National Presidential Dialogue

on Friday, 06 October 2017.

On 29th September 2017, the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) together with CSOs working on the health agenda in Uganda; in partnership with the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Quality of Health Care held the First National Presidential Dialogue on Quality of Health Care at Collin Hotel in Mukono.
The dialogue that was premised on the theme: Improving Health Service Delivery to Ensure Quality Care for all brought together more than 800 participants from: Civil Society Organizations, Religious Institutions, Government line ministries, Members of parliament, students, academia and the media.

ACHEST held the final dissemination meeting for the Brain Drain to Brain Gain project in Uganda

on Thursday, 31 August 2017.

pic1pic1In 2015 Trinidad and Tobago came close to reaching a deal with the Ugandan government to allow its health personnel migrate to work in the duo countries in a bilateral agreement before this opportunity was intercepted by activists’ protestation and court cases suing the government for this action.On Friday, 25th August 2017 at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala when ACHEST was closing a three year project; Brain Drain to Brain Gain that was funded by the European Union through WHO; Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) noted that it was a missed opportunity on Uganda’s part to have declined the Trinidad and Tobago opportunity citing the many medical graduates who are languishing in unemployment as the government struggles to absorb many of the graduates into the public facilities.
Dr. Patrick Kadama. Director Health Policy at ACHEST advised that Uganda should tweak its policy instruments to ensure that our unemployed people in Uganda are taken care of in other countries to the benefit of the country.

Civil Society Organizations Trained on Policy Lobby and Advocacy in Uganda

on Friday, 18 August 2017.

26 Civil Society Organizations working on Maternal health, Child health, Adolescents health, HIV/AIDs and Human Rights related issues were trained by the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) on policy lobby and advocacy.

The four days training held from 7th- 10th August 2017 in Entebbe, Uganda hinged on one of the major Health Systems Advocacy Partnership project components that is aimed at building capacity of indigenous civil society organizations to be able to engage effectively with governments, the private sector and other stakeholders accountable for health systems to deliver; equitable, accessible and high-quality SRHR and services.

“Wanting to become agents of change should be the drive for every individual to work hard. The lobby and advocacy skills acquired from the training will go a long way in bringing the change that we want to see.” Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of ACHEST noted whole speaking at the training.
He advised the coalition members to create a lot of awareness around reproductive health like it was done around HIV AIDS being cognizant of the fact that maternal health is one indicator that did not perform well during the Millennium Development Goal era.

Civil Society Organizations trained on Policy Lobby and Advocacy

on Sunday, 13 August 2017.

“We may build roads to go to the hospital which is a good thing, but building better humanParticipants at the Lobby and Advocacy meeting in EntebbeParticipants at the Lobby and Advocacy meeting in Entebbe capital of healthy people who can build road s to go to the hospital is key to achieving a country’s development.”
Dr. Patrick Kadama, Director of Health Policy at African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) made this remark on Monday 7th August 2017 while opening a four days training organized by ACHEST for the Civil Society Organization coalition on Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) and ACHEST staff.
The training that ran from 7th- 10th of August 2017 at Garuga Country Lake Resort in Entebbe hinged on one of the major Health Systems Advocacy Partnership project components of capacity building to strengthen 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 and services.
The training objectives were to: impart knowledge and skills base; and develop materials, tools and plans to drive advocacy agenda in Sexual Reproductive Health Rights specific to Human Resources for Health, Leadership and Governance.
35 members from 26 Civil Society Organizations working on Maternal health, Child health, Adolescents health, HIV/AIDs and Human Rights related issues were trained on: definitions of concepts used in advocacy and lobbying, advocacy and lobbying cycle, media advocacy, advocacy monitoring and evaluation, social accountability tools and advocacy monitoring and evaluation.

Compiled by Loice Epetiru,
Communications Specialist, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST)

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.

Compiled by Loice Epetiru,
Communications Specialist, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST)

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.