on Wednesday, 09 December 2020.

The Executive Director of the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), Prof. Francis Omaswa has been appointed to the Independent Commission to review the status of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa. Prof Francis OmaswaProf Francis Omaswa 
The commission, established by AMREF Health Africa, will review the continent’s progress towards achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) targets by 2030.

In addition to reviewing the continent’s progress, the commission dubbed “Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) Commission on the State of UHC in Africa,” will provide recommendations on leadership, accountability, technology/innovation and health security, to help guide the continent towards achieving UHC targets.

Prof. Omaswa has been appointed alongside 10 other commissioners from a range of disciplines and sectors across Africa.

They include Co-chair Solange Hakiba (Rwanda) who is experienced in working with various donor agencies, including USAID, DFID, the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and Co-Chair Prof Edwine Barasa (Kenya), who serves as the Director of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Nairobi, Kenya; the Head of the Programme’s Health Economics Unit and Professor of health economics at the University of Oxford.


Others are: Dr. Ama Pokuaa Fenny (Ghana), Senior Research Fellow with the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economics Research at the University of Ghana; Foyeth Kamdem Eugène Lebrun (Cameroon), the Policy Adviser at Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Board; Dr. Lola Dare (Nigeria), the President of Chestrad Global; Dr Onisoa Rindra Ralidera (Madagascar), the Country Lead, Options Consultancy Services Limited; Gerald Manthalu (Malawi), Deputy Director of Planning and Policy Development in the Ministry of Health in Malawi; Dr. Shakira Choonara (South Africa), the President of the World Organisation of Family Doctors, African Region; Dr. Karim Bendhaou (Tunisia), the Africa Engagement Committee Chair of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations and Prof. Shabir Moosa (South Africa), a facilitator of the African Forum for Primary Health CareCommenting on his appointment Prof. Omaswa said, “I am delighted to serve on this African driven and owned Commission on UHC. I expect the recommendations to reflect originality, relevance and home grown.”

In a press statement released on December 7, 2020, Amref said these global experts and leaders will provide valuable guidance, engage with key stakeholders and collate data to provide an accurate overview of African nations’ collective advancement towards UHC. They will also “spotlight pressing challenges faced by different countries and work closely with governments, policy shapers and implementation teams to navigate them effectively for the delivery of health services to all.

The AHAIC Commission’s immediate focus will be the production of a State of UHC in Africa Report.
‘‘The report will serve as a reliable roadmap and reference point on progress made so far, as viewed through an African lens,’’ said Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Global CEO, Amref Health Africa and Co-Chair, UHC 2030 Steering Committee.

Commenting on the selection criteria, Dr. Gitahi noted: ‘‘The selection committee has assembled a youth- and gender-inclusive commission that reflects the rich diversity of the continent and brings together experienced, versatile, well respected global health experts from across Africa.’’

Find detailed statement about the Commission and the profiles of the commissioners here:

Compiled by Carol Natukunda, Communications Specialist, ACHEST