Dr. 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 in 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.
African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation together (ACHEST) with International Development Research Centre (IDRC) convened a two days Regional Consultation of health Think Tanks and academia on the fast tracking the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and public policy for better health outcomes in Eastern and Southern Africa.
The consultation meeting that ran from 13th to 14th October 2016 at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala brought together high-level delegates in the category of health experts, heads of policy research institutions, academia and media from the eight countries including: Canada, Ghana, Zambia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, Director of Health Workforce, Education and Development
at the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) attended the Chinese Consortium of Universities Global Health (CUGH) conference that ran from 14th to15th October 2016 held at the Duke Kunshan University in China.
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.”
Robert Odedo, Chief Operations Officer and Dr. Vincent Ojoome the Director, Monitoring and Evaluation at African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) participated in the regional level Health Systems Advocacy Partnership Theory of Change exercise in Lusaka, Zambia from the 30th August-1st September 2016.
The meeting that was convened by the Medical Transparence Alliance (MeTA) and facilitated by the PAMOJA consultant brought together members of the regional team that consists of three partner organizations that include; African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), Amref and Health Action international (HAI)/Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS).
“ACHEST’s expected outputs at the regional level is to lobby for a sustainable platform meant for advancing the Health Systems Advocacy agenda (HSA) at the African Union level for advancing evidence and space for dialogue which should live beyond the Health Systems Advocacy Partnership project.” Robert Odedo noted.
This project focuses on Human Resources for Health (HRH) and Sexual and Reproductive Health commodities and devices to review and ensure implementation of policies. The 5 year partnership project seeks to; build partnerships at the region and internationally, strengthen the health system through lobby and advocacy at the regional level on Human Resources for Health and Commodities on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights.
The different partners were assigned different roles. ACHEST was assigned to manage the procurement of a consultant to carry out the baseline survey while Amref Africa was assigned to come up with the Terms of Reference for the regional team comprising two members from the three partner organizations.