After the launch of the Health Systems Advocacy (HSA) project in Uganda in March 2016 by the four partners; AMREF Health Africa, the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), Health Action International (HAI) and WEMOS with funding from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to strengthen the capacity of local organizations to advocate and influence sexual and reproductive health rights, the aforementioned partners on Monday 27th June 2016 launched a three days Theory of Change workshop to actualize and identify key areas for Uganda in the project.
Ms. Damali Inhensiko, an enrolled midwife at Inhula Health Centre II, in Luuka district, Busoga region received the 2016 International Health Workforce Award for her exceptional contribution to the health work force in her community.
Inhensiko received this award at the 69th World Health Assembly (WHA) that was held in Geneva in Switzerland from 23rd to 28th May 2016 to recognize outstanding health workers and individuals who have demonstrated significant achievements in the field of human resources for health (HRH).
African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation’s Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, Director of Health Workforce, Education and Development attended the 7th Annual Global health conference in San Francisco in the USA.
The meeting that took place from the 9th -11th of June 2016 was convened by Consortium of Universities for Global Health in conjunction with the University of California, San Francesca. The meeting that was overly attended by 1800 participants had conferences, plenary sessions, satellite sessions and social and small interest group breakouts.
Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, the Director of Health workforce, Education and Development represented African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) at the UNAIDS Ministerial held on1st February 2016.
The main objective of the ministerial meeting was to generate commitment and action to ensure human resources for health for the 90-90-90 target and strengthen health systems beyond HIV.
The 90-90-90- target aims at laying the foundation to end HIV AIDS by 2030, by having 90% of the people living with HIV diagnosed i.e. Knowing their status, 90% on treatment and 90% virally suppressed. This will therefore produce profound and lasting economic benefits by enhancing productivity, avert future treatment costs and improve social and economic outcomes.
Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, the Director of Health workforce, Education and Development at African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation ACHEST, represented ACHEST at the 29th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 30th -31st January 2016.
The theme of the Summit was; “African year of Human Rights” and this was with a particular focus on women’s’ rights and with subthemes that touched on; Education, Health, Speech, Gender equality and Movement.
Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde engaged in side discussions with high level persons and as well disseminated ACHEST’s work on Health Systems Advocacy for Africa, and the new report addressing global security risk from infectious diseases.
The participants were thrilled with the great resource of information they received.
The ACHEST Executive Director, Prof. Francis Omaswa together with the Director Health Policy and Strategy, Dr. Patrick Kadama represented ACHEST at the recently concluded 69th World Health Assembly (WHA) held in Geneva in Switzerland from 23rd to 28th May 2016.
ACHEST Executive Director was one of the speakers at the celebrations to mark 10 years of the Global Health Work Force Alliance (GHWA) of which he was founding Executive Director on 26th May 2016.
While making a presentation at the WHA, He noted that, “In Africa, much as the HWF densities have not changed in 10 years partly due to rapid population growth, a lot is happening and there has been concrete progress where we now have an African HWF Roadmap adopted by Health Ministers and Heads of State, thirty countries have HWF plans, there are exciting Education Initiatives such as NEPI and MEPI that are now being shared widely in the region and the new leadership at WHO Afro Region is repositioning WHO to be a stronger partner and to the African Platform on HRH, AUC and other key players in the region.
Professor Omaswa also pointed out some challenges and cautioned that; the push for Community Health Workers should not be communicated as if they are the whole solution to HWF crisis in Africa.
CHWs need support from the population as well as from higher professional cadres and those who support African work should focus more on building indigenous institutional capacity. He also called for unity and cohesion among the actors in HWF at global, regional and country level urging better use and strengthening of country and regional mechanisms that already exist.
Cross River commissioner for health, Dr. Inyang Asibong, has identified the migration of the health workforce as a complex and multifaceted issue created by source countries due to poor management, insufficient remuneration, low motivation and uneven performance of health workers.
She made the assertion during the second stakeholders meeting on project “Brain Drain to Brain Gain” organised by African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation, held at Dannic Hotel, Calabar recently.Asibong, represented by the director of administration in the ministry, Elder Egwu U. Omini, said the issue of international health workforce migration has increasingly become a key focus of attention in the global health agenda as a result of its negative consequences on the performance of already strained health systems in source countries.
ACHEST has received a grant from WHO Geneva funded by EU and Norway to monitor the implementation of the WHO code on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel in Nigeria and Uganda. As part of the ongoing studies on health worker migration, ACHEST team visited Nigeria 16th to 22nd August 2015 to commission the study in Nigeria.
Dr. Peter Eriki, ACHEST Deputy Executive Director and Robert Odedo, Chief of Operations participated in initial stakeholder mapping engagements, identification of HRH migration data sources, engagement of resource persons and acquisition of HRH data at national and state levels.
ACHEST has signed a contract to implement a project that will provide technical assistance to three Medical Councils in Uganda over a period of one year. The beneficiaries are: Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council; Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council; Uganda Allied Health Professionals Council. The project is funded by USAID through the US firm CARDNO under the Uganda Private Health Support Program.
Technical support to provided will include; update and revision Council regulations, Streamlining, consolidation and digitising facility licensing, Strengthening Council’s systems and capacity to implement Continuous Professional Development (CPD) credit and Provision of technical assistance to individual Councils as needed for specific projects designed to strengthen their capacity to oversee the private health sector. The contract was signed by Dr. Dithan Kiragga for USAID/UPHSP and Dr. Patrick Kadama on behalf of ACHEST on Friday 13th November 2015.
The SDGs and the Game Change in Global Health
Panel discussion: 12 – 13 November, 2015. Graduate Institute Geneva.
The Global Health Program at the Graduate Institute hosted for the first time ever leaders from think tanks and academic institutions from around the world to discuss how the transformational approach to global development aimed for by the SDGs can be put into practice for global health and greater health equity.
A partnership agreement aimed at strengthening the capacity of local organizations to advocate and influence the sexual and reproductive health and rights of marginalized groups, such as women and children was on November 12, 2015 signed between Health Systems Advocacy for Africa Alliance and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Health Systems Advocacy for Africa Alliance, consisting of Amref Health Africa, the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), Health Action International (HAI) and Wemos.
The partnership comes at a time when maternal morbidity and mortality continues to be the cause of unacceptable disability and death. Despite the fact that maternal mortality is high on the international agenda, the goal to reduce maternal mortality by 75%, is still far from being reached.
The international, independent and multi-stakeholder expert commission scheduled to conduct a study and prepare a report to recommend an effective global architecture for recognizing and mitigating the threat of epidemic infectious diseases held its initial public and closed meetings on July 28 - 29, in Washington, D.C.
The Commission consists of 16 global health leaders with wide experience in public health, financing, research and human resources for health. meeting included sessions on the background for and the charge to the Commission; the landscape of related global initiatives; key challenges and lessons learned for preparedness and response to globally significant infectious disease outbreaks; and the role of government, communities, and the private sector in responding to outbreaks of global significance.
The Commission is now compiling evidence for its report from four workshops which were held in August and September in different parts of the world. Beyond capturing lessons learned from the recent Ebola and other global outbreaks, workshop topic areas included Governance for Global Health, Financing to Contain Pandemic Threats, Resilient Health Systems, and Research and Development of Medical Products.
ACHEST Executive Director, Francis Omaswa, is the Co-chair of the Resilient Health Systems which met in Accra, Ghana, 5 – 7 August, 2015. Thie workshop was also addressed by the Director General of Health Services in Uganda Dr Jane Ruth Aceng. DrAceng made a highly appreciated presentation on Uganda’s strong experience in successfully controlling multiple outbreaks of Ebola over many years.
Over the past 15 years, outbreaks of Ebola, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and H1N1 have demonstrated the lack of an adequate local and global health system infrastructure to prevent or mitigate the systemic burdens that result from infectious disease incidents of international significance.
The U.S. National Academy of Medicine (NAM) is providing organizational and management functions to the commission. The NAM and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s will also provide expertise and project management, including for the workshops and their summaries. The final report with the consensus conclusions and recommendations will be a product of the independent Commission and not of NAM or the Academies.
As part of the consultative process in preparation for the inception of the Brain Drain to Brain Gain Project Uganda Chapter, ACHEST held a consultative meeting with the Minister of Health, Hon. Elioda Tumwesigye on 26 June 2015.
ACHEST team, led by the Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa, called on the Minister of Health to brief him about the project on Health Worker Migration and to elicit official support of and involvement in the project by the Ministry of Health.
Hon. Tumwesigye lauded WHO for initiating the project and recommended that the investigations on Health Worker Migration should include cadres who had registered interest in travelling to Trinidad and Tobago before the move was put on hold pending resolution of the matters arising there from. Such cadres he said includes specialists, midwives and public health nurses.
The Minister emphasized the need to understand their expectations including remuneration and general conditions of service; establish push and pull factors in the migration of health workers.
The meeting was also attended by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary Dr. A. Lukwago.
ACHEST was invited to attend and address the scheduled meeting of the Councils’ Heads which included the Allied Health Professions Council, the UMDPC; the Nurses and Midwives Council and Pharmacy Board on the “Brain Drain to Brain Gain” project supporting the WHO Code of practice on International recruitment of health workers, for better management of health worker migration.
The meeting discussed modalities and possibility of the councils being sources of relevant data required for the project.
As result of the meeting African Centre for Global Health (ACHEST) was given a go-ahead to work with the respective Councils on the consolidation of existing Health Workforce databases for purposes of reporting on the WHO Code on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel to which Uganda is a party
ACHEST team was led by Dr. Peter Eriki and accompanied by Dr. Vincent Ojoome, Mr Robert Odedo and Ms Geraldine Agiraembabazi.
ACHEST has received a grant from the WHO to undertake studies in Uganda and Nigeria on Health Worker Migration. This is part of a global study that will also be conducted in three other countries namely South Africa, India and the Republic of Ireland.
An Inception Workshop was convened in Uganda by the Ministry of Health, WHO and ACHEST on Monday 6th July 2015 in Kampala and attended by government ministries, academia, civil society and development partners and WHO representatives from Geneva and Kampala.
During this workshop and among other topics, a debate took place on the topic “This house believes that Ugandan Health Workers should not be allowed to leave the country”. The motion was defeated.