Last month I participated at the 38th Global Health Council (GHC) in Washington DC, USA which took place during the week 14 – 18 June 2011 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel. There were over 2000 registered participants from all over the world. Although the theme of the meeting was Non Communicable Diseases(NCD), there was a very wide range of topics addressed which ranged from health systems, NCDs, HIV and other infectious diseases, ICTs in health etc. The meeting was well organized and vibrant. It is believed to be the biggest global health annual gathering surpassing the World Health Assembly. The majority of the participants were USA health actors of all types. Clearly this is the meeting of the year for many of them.
Articles in Category: Governance Forum
Francis Omaswa reflects on how difficult it is to get Africa’s voice heard at international fora, if the participants fail to take their roles as seriously as they should.
This is the season for the Annual World Health Assembly (WHA) which will run from 13th - 24th May 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland. In order to save money and take advantage of the delegations going to the WHA, it is customary for other meetings to take place during the week before and much fewer after the WHA in Geneva or other European cities. There are also meetings that take place in Geneva alongside the WHA which does not please the WHO bureaucracy as they encroach on the time of the delegates to WHA.
An entry point for producing Accountable Health Professionals for Africa
In our previous discussions, we have discussed topics which included the need to restore the “can do” attitude among African health professionals, country ownership, the need for committed leadership of individuals that is needed to close the huge implementation gap at country level and the place of mentorship and role models in growing a new generation of accountable African techno-professionals. In this issue let’s continue the discussion on creating a new generation of accountable health professionals using Education and Training as a critical entry point for achieving this goal.
During the last few months my attention has once again been sharply drawn to the perennial topic of the need for stronger coordination in order to build synergies and promote cohesion and avoid dispersing our effort and resources. Even if we act separately we can at least move in tandem, collectively gaining momentum and accelerating faster towards the attainment of our shared goals. The motto of the Republic of Kenya is "Harambee" which might translate as lifting heavy loads together in unison (Kenyan colleagues are welcome to elaborate).
During the last quarter of 2011 one of the most striking and saddening experiences for me was to witness at first hand how key information appeared not to be in the possession of policy makers and techno-professionals for whom this information is targeted in the first place. How can we expect action to be taken if the key actors do not know or appear not to be aware of what they are expected to do? We have discussed the “Implementation Gap”, the “know - do - gap” the so called “low hanging fruits”. How can the low hanging fruits be picked if we do not know what these fruits look like and where they can be found? How can we expect global, regional and national resolutions, policies and technical frameworks to be acted upon if they do not reach the implementers?