Health Systems Advocacy for Africa Alliance signs Partnership Agreement with Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

on Friday, 13 November 2015.

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.

Members sign the Partnership AgreementMembers sign the Partnership Agreement

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.

 

ACHEST elected to the “Commission on Creating Global Health Risk Framework for the Future”.

on Tuesday, 08 September 2015.

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.

ACHEST Consults Ministry of Health On Health Worker Migration Initiative.

on Tuesday, 08 September 2015.

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 Meets Health Professional Councils on brain drain to brain gain project

on Tuesday, 08 September 2015.

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.

BRAIN Drain to Brain Gain: Supporting the WHO Code on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel:

on Sunday, 12 July 2015.

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.

Commission on Creating a Global Health Risk Framework for the Future:

on Sunday, 12 July 2015.

ACHEST’s expertise in global health continues to be recognized as Prof. Francis Omaswa appointed to serve on a 15 member international, independent, multi-stakeholder expert commission that will conduct a study and prepare a report to recommend an effective global architecture for recognizing and mitigating the threat of epidemic infectious diseases.

The commission will receive input from four Institute of Medicine workshops that will be coordinated on: governance for global health, financing response to pandemic threats, resilient health systems (Francis Omaswa Co-chair), research and development of medical products.

The report of this Commission will be presented to the January 2016 WHO Executive Board and to the World Health Assembly in May 2016.

ACHEST Participates in the 68th World Health Assembly

on Sunday, 12 July 2015.

ACHEST Executive Director, Prof. Francis Omaswa represented ACHEST at the 68th WHA in Geneva where he contributed to the discussions on the WHO Code on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel.
 ACHEST also provided support to the Uganda and other African delegations on a number of agenda items such as Essential Surgical Care, Ebola, Integrated Health Systems for HRH and Adolescent and Reproductive Health.

The assembly, held in May 2015, also presented an opportunity to network and coordinate with stakeholders on HRH initiatives in Africa on behalf of the African Platform on HRH.

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ACHEST Director appointed to Co-chair Independent Advisory Group for WHO Afro.

on Sunday, 12 July 2015.

ACHEST executive director, Prof. Francis Omaswa, has been appointed to co-chair the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) that will provide policy and strategy advice to the Regional Director of the WHO African Region.

Prof. Omaswa was appointed by the new WHO African Region Director, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti. The IAG, consists of 16 renowned global health leaders representing all regions of the world and with diverse experience.

The IAG met for the first time in Johannesburg, South Africa, 4 – 5 May 2015 and provided advice on Dr. Moeti’s proposed ambitious and promising Transformation Agenda for the WHO African Region.

ACHEST executive director, Prof. Francis Omaswa, has been appointed to co-chair the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) that will provide policy and strategy advice to the Regional Director of the WHO African Region.

 

Prof. Omaswa was appointed by the new WHO African Region Director, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti. The IAG, consists of 16 renowned global health leaders representing all regions of the world and with diverse experience.

 

The IAG met for the first time in Johannesburg, South Africa, 4 – 5 May 2015 and provided advice on Dr. Moeti’s proposed ambitious and promising Transformation Agenda for the WHO African Region.

ACHEST undergoes systems strengthening

on Saturday, 14 March 2015.

 Patrick Kadama Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde Peter Eriki Ben Omollo Francis Omaswa Vincent Ojoome John Oguntomiladde and Cheryl NesbitPatrick Kadama Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde Peter Eriki Ben Omollo Francis Omaswa Vincent Ojoome John Oguntomiladde and Cheryl Nesbit

The good book in Proverbs 22:6 says, “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.”
This speaks to setting a proper and solid foundation, not only for children but for anything, even an organization, which intends to be around for the long haul and impact people and society.

Since ACHEST’s mission is to ensure equitable health for Africa, its foundations have to be firm and constantly reinforced in order to match any changes and improve its competitiveness in the world.

In a bid to improve its performance and operations, ACHEST underwent a Health Resources and Systems Administration (HRSA)-led baseline assessment in 2013 called CIASS (Clinical Assessment of Systems Strengthening).

CIASS is a tool that is used to evaluate the strength of an organization’s financial, governance and administrative systems.
The purpose of this evaluation is to identify any loopholes and advise the organization on how to improve but also to point out the strong points and encourage the organization to become even stronger.

A team that comprised of HRSA’s John Oguntomiladde and Cheryl Nesbit as well as Ben Omollo an independent consultant, visited ACHEST for a 3-day post-2013 assessment.
Oguntomiladde, the team-lead said, “CIASS is not a grading system but an assessment. In the areas of financial management, governance and administration, ACHEST has improved and we can confidently say that your systems are functioning well.”

Prof. Francis Omaswa, the ACHEST CEO thanked HRSA and the team for this partnership that has resulted in strengthened systems. The assessment involved all ACHEST staff members.

ACHEST WELCOMES 2015

on Tuesday, 27 January 2015.

Prof Omaswa giving a speech at the new-year staff partyProf Omaswa giving a speech at the new-year staff party

Good food, games and a promise of a better 2015 were the highlights of the ACHEST (African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation) beginning of year party. The party was held at the company offices in Kololo on Friday January 16, 2015.

Prof. Francis Omaswa, the executive director, who likened ACHEST to a child, reminded all the staff members present that ACHEST has survived all major milestones and is now a healthy strong company that can do major exploits in bringing about equitable health for Ugandans and Africans.

“We survived the first 28 days, neo-natal mortality, our first birthday and all sorts of killer
Prof Francis Omaswa cutting the cake with Dr Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde left and Harriet Malinga rightProf Francis Omaswa cutting the cake with Dr Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde left and Harriet Malinga rightdiseases and we are now beyond our 5th birthday. So, in medical terms we are a healthy child.”

He congratulated staff members for the good work done in 2014 and mentioned some of the major achievements of the year such as: launching the book – African health leaders: Making Change and Claiming the future – at the UN General Assembly, UK House of Lords, Cape town and Kampala.

Prof. Omaswa also encouraged staff to strike a good balance between work and family adding, “People at home should not complain that you work too much or too little.” The party, which ended in the early hours of the evening, had all staff and support staff members in attendance. 

Prof. Omaswa , Dr. Mungherera tip on how to successfully fight Ebola

on Wednesday, 29 October 2014.


Uganda has had at least five outbreaks of Ebola since 2000 - most recently in 2012 and was able to contain the outbreaks.

Dr. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director at the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation says there is much to be learned from the way Uganda handled all the Ebola outbreaks. Talking during a panel discussion at the ASPEN institute in New York, U.S Prof. Omaswa shared some lessons Uganda learnt during the different Ebola outbreaks.

“You first need to win the trust of the population. Lesson number 2, controlling the epidemic will be done by the communities themselves [by] being able to identify those who are suspected to have the disease and to refer them to centers for tests, isolation and treatment," said Omaswa.

Another Ugandan, Margaret Mungherera, the President of World Medical Association says while the international community has done a lot to help, African leaders need to be the face of the epidemic.

“Decisions are being made outside the countries concerned. They are not allowing them to take the decisions that need to be done so in terms of building the leadership and developing the leadership, strengthening the leadership, there’s a lot that needs to be done," said Mungherera.

To listen to this interview, click the link below:

http://www.voanews.com/content/physicians-call-on-africa-leaders-to-step-up-fight-agianst-ebola/2494495.html

African Health Leaders: Making Change and Claiming the future launched in kampala

on Wednesday, 15 October 2014.

Lord Nigel Crisp Prof.Francis Omaswa Hon. Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda Hon. Cryspus Kiyonga & Hon. Elioda TumuwesigeLord Nigel Crisp Prof.Francis Omaswa Hon. Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda Hon. Cryspus Kiyonga & Hon. Elioda TumuwesigeA week after he took over office, the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, has promised to aggressively reduce maternal mortality in the country as a top priority during his tenure as Leader of Government Business.
“I want to see health conditions of the people of Uganda improve, especially those of mothers and children. They are dying because of performing their natural duties. I have no doubt that we have no choice but to take this matter seriously,” he said.
Speaking at the launch of a book, “African Health Leaders: Making Change and Claiming the future, at Sheraton Hotel Kampala, Rugunda said the linkage between societal governance and health promotion that is underscored in the book, will be the guiding principle in his quest to improve the health conditions in the country during his tenure.

“African Health Leaders: Making Change and Claiming the Future” launched in New York

on Saturday, 27 September 2014.

   Lord Nigel Crisp  Prof. Francis Omaswa  Prime Minister  Ruhakana Rugunda  Susan Edjang  Prof. Miriam Were and Hon. Okello OryemLord Nigel Crisp Prof. Francis Omaswa Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda Susan Edjang Prof. Miriam Were and Hon. Okello Oryem

Prof. Francis Omaswa talks with Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda during the book launch in New YorkProf. Francis Omaswa talks with Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda during the book launch in New YorkA book that seeks to redefine the way in which Africa is viewed by Africans themselves and the rest of the world has been launched in New York. The book titled, African Health Leaders: Making Change and Claiming the future” is edited by Prof. Francis Omaswa and Lord Nigel Crisp with contributions from 23 other African leaders in health. This was the first of many launches, with the Ugandan launch due to take place on October 10.

In a joint statement, Hon Sam Kuteesa the UN General Assembly President and Dr Ruhakana Rugunda the Prime Minister of Uganda, said the new book is a timely and welcome addition to the work and theme of the current session of the UN General Assembly on the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

“I am pleased to participate at the launch ceremony for this newly published book on “African Leaders; making change and claiming the future” said Dr Rugunda, who read the joint speech during the book launch.

“It is our hope that this book will be essential reading for all those engaged in this dialogue and that some of the authors of the book will be tapped for their valuable experience. It is also our hope that Africans and their international development partners will benefit from reading and digesting the content of the book and use it as a catalyst for the continuing dialogue on the critical issues facing African as well as global health,” Dr. Rugunda said as he launched the book.

PRESS RELEASE – “SOLIDARITY WITH HEALTH WORKERS IN EBOLA AFFECTED COUNTRIES”

on Tuesday, 23 September 2014.

As the leadership of the World Medical Association and the African Platform on Human Resources for Health, we wish to convey to all our comrades - the valiant Health Workers - in the countries affected by the current Ebola outbreak namely: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

 We are deeply saddened to learn of the regrettable attacks and killings of Health Workers in some of the countries. In the middle of all the challenges that you face as front line health workers, we urge you to remain steadfast in your noble call to save the lives of your fellow citizens. The untoward actions against health professional in some of the countries are largely due to lack of proper knowledge and correct information among our people.

WHO, ACHEST in bid to reduce maternal and childhood mortality in Uganda

on Monday, 22 September 2014.

Prof. Omaswa handing over the sh23m cheque to OdweProf. Omaswa handing over the sh23m cheque to OdweIn order to contribute to the reduction of  maternal and childhood mortality in Uganda, the partnership on maternal newborn child health (MNCH) based in the World Health Organization has made funding worth Ugsh23m available to civil society organizations through ACHEST. The money is intended to support member CSOs as they advocate more budget allocations towards reduction of maternal and newborn deaths in the country.

The ACHEST executive director, Prof. Francis Omaswa handed over the sh23m cheque to Denis Odwe the coalition representative.
 Handing over the cheque, Prof. Omaswa, cautioned against mismanagement of the funds. He said: “Africans have a high family dependency burden so we are tempted to divert such funds for personal needs. Be careful because this often leads to non-performance.”