PROF. OMASWA LOBBIES ROTARIANS TO SUPPORT PRIMARY HEALTH CARE

on Friday, 23 July 2021.

The ACHEST Executive Director , Prof. Francis Omaswa has urged Rotarians to advocate for Integrated People-Centered Primary Health Care(IPCPHC) as a foundation to achieve Health For All.

He made the remarks on 22 July 2021, while addressing the Rotary Club of Kampala on theProf. Omaswa lobbies Rotarians to support Primary Health CareProf. Omaswa lobbies Rotarians to support Primary Health Care “Role of citizens in fighting the pandemic; towards a healthier new normal for all.”

Prof. Omaswa, who is also the President Elect of the Rotary Club of Kampala, as well as the Chairperson of the National Community Engagement Sub-Committee for COVID-19 Response in Uganda said it is important for individuals to take personal responsibility to maintain and promote good health.

“ Only 6% of the population are born with congenital or birth defects, but most of us are born normal. Good health is inborn. When the body is short of water, we feel thirsty; when we need food we feel hungry, when it is time to sleep we feel sleepy. The challenge is for us to listen and obey our bodies. Our behavior determines our health outcomes. Maintaining inborne health is the responsibility of the individual. It starts with you and is supported by the health system when necessary,” said Prof. Omaswa

COMMUNITY-BASED EDUCATION, PRIMARY CARE AND SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY

on Wednesday, 21 July 2021.

Community based education(CBE) helps young health professionals to appreciate the medical field and at the same time improves access to universal health care, observes Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, the ACHEST Director of Medical Education and Development.

Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde, who is also the Secretary General of The Network Towards UnityCommunity-Based Education, Primary Care and Social AccountabilityCommunity-Based Education, Primary Care and Social Accountability for Health(TUFH) said this while delivering a presentation on the importance on CBE during a virtual conference hosted by TUFH in partnership with the Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing - Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia.

The conference, under the theme “Community-Based Education, Primary Care and Social Accountability, was held virtually on July 5.2021. It was attended by about 300 participants from Asia, Africa, America, Australia, and Europe. 

ACHEST’S DR. OKELLO APPOINTED TO THE INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COMMMITTEE OF THE FEDERATION FOR NCDs.

on Friday, 09 July 2021.

Dr. David Okello Director Health Systems-ACHESTDr. David Okello Director Health Systems-ACHESTThe ACHEST Director of Health Systems and Health Promotion, Dr. David Okello has been appointed to the International Advisory Committee of the World Federation for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).

The committee is tasked with overseeing the functioning of the Center of Excellence for Evidence Based Research on NCDS in low-and-middle income countries; and the utilization of the evidence generated through systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

In the course of its work, the committee is expected to bear in mind the international, regional and national priorities with a focus on local engagement. Dr. Okello was appointed to the committee alongside 16 other global health experts. Commenting on this opportunity, Dr. Okello remarked: the assignment presents excellent opportunity to share knowledge and promote south to south collaboration in promoting the global action needed to stem the silent epidemic of NCDs in low-and middle -income countries”

WORLD HEALTH SUMMIT AFRICA REGIONAL MEETING

on Thursday, 01 July 2021.

The African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation(ACHEST) participated at the first World Health Summit (WHS) Africa Regional Meeting held virtually on June 27-June 29 2021.WHS flyer on UHCWHS flyer on UHC

The summit was hosted by Makerere University as a member of the global M8 Alliance of Academic Health Centers, Universities and National Academies. in Kampala, Uganda. This is the first time that the WHS has been held on African soil. The Summit was opening ceremony was addressed by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Dr Tedros , the Director General of WHO.

Topics of discussion included Africa’s progress towards Universal Health Coverage(UHC) and Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), The Health of the African Youth, Advancing Technology for Health in Africa, Infectious Diseases and Global Health Security, COVID-19 pandemic, Stemming the Tide of Non-Communicable Diseases in Low- and Middle-Income Countries and Inter-Sectoral Collaboration for Health, the Global Health Workforce Crisis among others.

 

ACHEST PARTICIPATES AT THE KOFI ANNAN PUBLIC HEALTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

on Thursday, 01 July 2021.

On June15, 2021, the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation(ACHEST) delivered the keynote address at inaugural session of the 2021 Kofi Annan Public Health Leadership Fellowship Programme. Kofi-Annan-Fellowship-In-Public-Health-Leadership-Program-2021Kofi-Annan-Fellowship-In-Public-Health-Leadership-Program-2021

Launched in May 2020 by the Africa Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and the Kofi Annan Foundation, the Leadership Programme aims to support aspirational public health leaders (Fellows) from Africa in acquiring advanced skills and competencies to strategize, manage and lead programmes that will transform public health in Africa. The programme was established in honour of the late Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations from January 1997 to December 2006.

This year, 20 fellows from 14 African Union member States have been selected to participate in the fellowship over the course of 12 months.
ACHEST was invited to share its expertise with the Fellows, in the areas of leadership, governance, health diplomacy, and human resources for health management of public health initiatives in Africa.

 

ACHEST CO-HOSTS WEBINAR ON “PREPARING THE HEALTH WORKFORCE TO ENGAGE WITH COMMUNITIES.

on Tuesday, 29 June 2021.

A thorough examination that encourages governments to support rural retention of health worker, is urgently needed, public health experts have recommended.
Speaking at the webinar titled “Preparing the health workforce to engage with communities,” the experts noted that while the community health movement is growing, the challenge that remains is facilitating it with a supported, motivated and skilled health workforce.
The webinar hosted on June 23, 2021 was hosted by the African Forum for Education and Research in Health (AFREhealth) in partnership with the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST).

The ACHEST Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa who was one of the speakers stated: “ The movement on community health is growing. Africa has a health strategy. What is left is those in support of this movement to get together as a  group that is promoting community health, its practice, education and training.”
Prof. Omaswa gave the example of Thailand as one of the countries that has a deliberate programme to attract health workers to work in communities.

ACHEST PARTICIPATES AT THE HRH2030 EVENT

on Tuesday, 08 June 2021.

webinar flyerwebinar flyerOn May 18, 2021, the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), participated at the Human Resources for Health 2030 end-of-program event.
HRH 2030 has been USAID’s flagship health workforce program for the last six years
The virtual event under the theme: "Six Years in 60 Minutes: Learning from the HRH2030 Program” was therefore one of the legacy series to share achievements as well as explore the broader picture on global health, including the COVID-19 era and the launch of the new USAID Vision for Health Systems Strengthening.

The panel of experts included ACHEST Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa and Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, the Director of Medical Education and Development


ACHEST Medical Induction Course
Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde spoke about ACHEST’s induction course which supports newly qualified health professionals to adjust to the working world.
“Medical internship is a transition phase between being medical students and becoming fully qualified medical professionals. It has been reported that this period can be stressful and sometimes it makes the young professionals feel inadequate and uncomfortable. So, we felt that it was important to prepare them for this period,” said Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde
It should be noted that in 2020, the course received recognition in the HRH 2030 in the health workforce resilience global competition.

ACHEST AT THE HEALTH PROFESSIONALS EDUCATION CONFERENCE 2021

on Tuesday, 08 June 2021.

The ACHEST Director of Health Workforce and Development , Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde was one of the speakers at the two-day health Profession's Education Conference in Kampala on 27th – 28 May 2021.
The conference was under the theme; "Transforming Health Professions Education in the 21st Century: From Theory to Practice".

The Conference was organized by the Eastern Africa Health Professions Educators' Association (EAHPEA), and the Health Professions Education Partnership Initiative (HEPI) which is co-hosted by the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University.
The goal of the HEPI, which started in August 2018, is to improve service delivery of the Ugandan health system through strengthened interdisciplinary health professional education and research training to produce graduates with competencies to address the priority health needs
of the population.

HEPI has seen the birth of “Health Professions Education and training for Strengthening
the Health System and Services in Uganda(HEPI-SHSSU).” The innovation
is implemented by a partnership between ACHEST, Makerere College of Health Sciences, Busitema University School of Health Sciences, Kabale University School of Medicine, Clarke International University, Mulago School of Nursing and Midwifery, Yale University and John Hopkins University.

OVERVIEW OF THE UPDATED WHO GUIDELINE ON HEALTHWORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, ATTRACTION, RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION IN RURAL AND REMOTE AREAS

on Thursday, 20 May 2021.

The ACHEST Director of Health Workforce and Development, Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde participated at the symposium on the updated WHO guideline on health workforce development, attraction, recruitment and retention in rural and remote areas.
The virtual symposium was hosted on 13th May 2021by The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) and the World Health Organization. It started off in a plenary and then broke up into smaller groups for discussion.

Dr.Kiguli-Malwadde who is the TUFH Secretary General and AFREHealth Vice President reporting on what was discussed in her group, called for a multisectoral approach to health advocacy.
“Advocacy may vary from locality to locality depending on what the challenges are. But it should be multi-sectoral. This approach has its challenges but that is the way to go. Include all stakeholders. Issues of transport and financing should not be left to the ministries of health,” she said.
Commenting on research, Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde said “evidence is important and we should continue doing research in the rural communities to come up with evidence for advocacy.”

TUFH WINS INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL ACCOUNTABILITY AWARD

on Thursday, 29 April 2021.

The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) is the recipient of the 2020 Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) - Charles Boelen International Social Accountability Award.
The award was received by the TUFH Secretary-General, Dr. Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde who is also the Director of Medical Education and Development at the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation(ACHEST).
In the virtual award ceremony held on Sunday, April 18th, 2021, Dr. Kiguli-Malwadde said: “It is an honor for me to receive the Charles Boelen social accountability award.”
This award celebrates accomplishments reflecting the principles of social accountability as defined in the Global Consensus for Social Accountability of Medical Schools (www.healthsocialaccountability.org).
Winners are selected based on their focuses on response to the priority health needs of citizens and society in education research and/or service delivery missions, consistent with values of quality, equity, relevance, and effectiveness. They should also have work in respect to the social determinants of health; a strong partnership with the main health stakeholders for efficient synergy in health development; and use of proper evaluation indices and mechanisms to assess the impact of the academic institution on health system performance and population health status. The criteria also looks at the contributions made to national and relevant sub-national policies in support of academic institutions engaged in actions for greater societal impact.
In this regard, AFMC on its website (https://ct.enews.afmc.ca/ext/page/hmdbknln noted that TUFH had done outstanding work.
“The TUFH Social Accountability and Accreditation Taskforce established the foundation (i.e technology amplification, knowledge sharing, case-based e-learning) for a global community of practice resulting in a global policy paper with concrete local action recommendations to inform policymakers and country change agents. The task force is committed to addressing the needs of the most vulnerable populations by creating communication and knowledge sharing e-learning platforms for global and national interprofessional and intersectoral communities of practice that build each participant’s respective capacity,” AFMC stated.
Watch the virtual award ceremony here:

ACHEST CO-HOSTS WEBINAR ON ISCHAEMIC HEART DISEASE

on Wednesday, 28 April 2021.

WEBINAR FLYERWEBINAR FLYERThere is a need for individuals to take responsibility for managing their own health.
This was the call to action from the April 21, 2021 webinar on Ischaemic Heart disease for all in Uganda.
The webinar, which featured high-level experts in cardiology, was organized by Uganda Heart Foundation, Uganda Heart Institute, and the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation(ACHEST). It was chaired by the ACHEST Executive Director, Prof. Francis Omaswa together with Prof. Paul D'Arbela from Mother Kevina Postgraduate School, Nsambya Hospital.

Dr. Barbara Kakande, a Consultant Cardiologist and Uganda Heart Association started off the discussion by defining Ischaemic Heart Disease as a group of syndromes or diseases that occur because of a change or alteration in the structure of the blood vessel that supplies the heart. Because of this, there is an imbalance between the oxygen that the heart muscle is receiving versus the oxygen which the heart is demanding. “So Ischaemic occurs when the demand for blood is higher than the supply. It is also called coronary heart/artery disease. Usually, the left side of the heart is the one which is affected due to many factors including the fact that the left side has a thicker wall compared to the right side,” explained Dr. Kakande.
Approximately one-third to a half of cardiovascular diseases in the world are Ischaemic. Some of the risk factors include aging, smoking, tissue factors, adhesion molecules, and family history.

Getting malaria prevention back on track.

on Sunday, 25 April 2021.

Francis Omaswa answers questions on what is needed for World Malaria Day.

Kampala, 22 April 2021 – Over the past two decades, the world has made great progress in Prof Francis Omaswa Executive Director-ACHESTProf Francis Omaswa Executive Director-ACHEST reducing malaria cases and deaths, but the pace has stalled in many high malaria burden African countries. Global malaria cases dropped by 29% between 2000 and 2019, but only by 2% between 2015 and 2019 when deaths fell by 15% compared with 60% between 2000 and 2019. Professor Francis Omaswa, Executive Director of the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation, explains what needs to be done to get malaria control and prevention back on track.

Why do we need to rethink malaria prevention?                                               There are two major reasons why we need to rethink malaria in Africa. First, is the fact that performance indicators have stagnated and are getting worse in some areas. Second, is that health systems are transitioning from top-down leadership to community ownership with generation and application of local solutions by the affected communities. We are off the track towards malaria elimination due to governance issues. Less money is going into malaria prevention programmes. The burden of malaria is not seen as a priority by political leaders and even the population themselves. There is a slackening of effort despite data indicating that we are stagnating.

The new direction for malaria control is to stop the top-down response and embark on an integrated, people-centred primary health care systems. This is the foundation of health systems of the future not only for malaria control but to achieve Universal Health Coverage and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Partnerships in a time of COVID-19

on Thursday, 01 April 2021.

CONFERENCE FLYERCONFERENCE FLYEROn March 19, 2021, THET UK partnered with the African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) and Esther Alliance to host the second conference on COVID-19 Partnerships.
The conference was held under the theme: “COVID-19 Partnerships in the International Year of Health and Care Workers: Protect. Invest. Together.” This is in line with the World Health Organization year-long campaign to recognize health workers for their dedication and resilience in fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Participants had the opportunity to reflect on what has been achieved by the Health Partnership community since the first conference in April 2021; and looked into the future, recognising the immense pressure that is now falling on health workers in every country. With the worrying increases in infections and the slow pace of vaccination campaigns in sub-Saharan Africa observed since the start of 2021 the conference discussed afresh at how the Health Partnership community is pulling together, especially now, when solidarity is more important than ever.
In his opening remarks, THET Director Ben Simms said: “We are here to celebrate but we also here to express our urgency and our anger. 2021 is not the same as 2020. We will never look at the world in the same way. We have been reminded about inequality, racism, about the underfunding of health services; and the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt. We need to argue that every health worker has the right to be properly equipped and supported. That every health worker, as every citizen, has the right to be vaccinated. We meet with humility.”
The virtual conference had 412 people from 44 countries across the globe participating. It also had 16 sessions and 48 speakers on wellness and compassion, advocacy, health systems strengthening, and COVID-19 response among others.
Advocacy in an era of COVID-19
This session explored the role individual health workers can play in advocating for change, including the challenge of overcoming 'anti-science' positions in communities and nations. ACHEST Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa was a panelist on this session. He expressed concern about the increased disinformation spread both through social media such as Whatsapp; as well as some politicians who give dissenting views.
He said: “We are challenged right now with handling information; misinformation, correct information. And when some of our leaders are not supporting health workers in getting the correct information out there, so that the public is together with health workers, based on the actual information, then the life of health workers becomes very complicated. We are challenged with issues of alternative factors versus real/actual facts. In this type of scenario, the health workers are in a dilemma. They themselves have to find out what the facts are. And then on top of that, they have to manage a community/public that is battling issues of what is true and not true.”
Prof. Omaswa referred to an example of the head of state in Africa who took a line that COVID-19 doesn’t exist in his country. “How do we deal with situations like that at global level, national level and down to community level? What about other heads of state? What has been their role? I am looking at health workers and other professionals such as lawyers. How do we speak truth to power so that it is possible for health workers to be able to do their job based on real facts not alternative facts and innuendo.,” asked Prof. Omaswa.

ACHEST’S DR. ERIKI WINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION

on Wednesday, 31 March 2021.

The recognition plaqueThe recognition plaqueACHEST Consultant, Dr. Peter Eriki, received national recognition for his outstanding contribution to the fight against Tuberculosis.
Dr. Eriki, a TB and chest specialist, was the first Ugandan manager of the National TB Program (NTBP). He also served as a Regional Adviser for TB and Leprosy based in Congo Brazzaville; then as a World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative in Angola, Kenya, and Nigeria.
Before his current consulting role at ACHEST, Dr. Eriki worked as Director Health Systems and Deputy Executive Director. He also served as a President of the Uganda National Association of Community and Occupational Health (UNACOH)
Dr. Eriki received the award from the Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng during the national celebrations to mark World TB Day on March 24, 2021 in Moroto. Commenting on this achievement, Dr. Eriki says it is very humbling to be recognized when one is still alive”
According to the WHO-Afro, (https://www.afro.who.int/regional-director/speeches-messages/world-tb-day-2021 ), there were an estimated 2.5 million TB cases in the African Region in 2019, accounting for 25% of the global burden. More than 500,000 African lives are lost to this disease every year. This is inexcusable when TB screening and treatment is available for free in all countries.
The theme of World TB Day 2021 - ‘The Clock is Ticking’ –conveys the sense that the world is running out of time to act on the commitments to end TB made by global leaders. This is especially critical in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic that has put End TB progress at risk.
Dr. Eriki had this to say on prevention: “TB is an airborne infection, spread through coughing, laughing, singing, talking, etc. It's curable. The best prevention method is finding all the sick infectious people and putting them on treatment and encouraging them to complete treatment until cured."

Launch of State of UHC in Africa Report Charts Detailed Path to Achieving Health for All on the Continent

on Friday, 12 March 2021.

The independent Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) Commission has unveiled the State of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Africa Report.

 KENYA PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTAKENYA PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTAThe report’s executive summary was released on the first day of AHAIC 2021 conference – a biennial convening of health ministers, private sector leaders, civil society and representatives from multilateral organizations taking place virtually from 8-10 March 2021.

The report highlights the progress made by African countries towards realizing Health for All and details the challenges and opportunities faced by countries in achieving UHC.
Compiled between November 2020 and March 2021, the State of UHC in Africa report takes stock of Africa’s progress in fulfilling commitments made by African leaders over the years, such as the Abuja Declaration (2001), the Africa Health Strategy (2007-2015, 2016-2030) and the Addis Ababa Call to Action on UHC (2019). It acknowledges the impact of colonial legacies, poor governance, and economic challenges on the continent’s health policies and outcomes. It details the performance of African countries on key UHC indicators, including effective coverage with needed health services, financial risk protection and health outcomes.

DR. TEDROS SPEAKING DURING THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCEDR. TEDROS SPEAKING DURING THE VIRTUAL CONFERENCEAccording to the report, Africa’s health systems are poorly attuned to meet the health care needs of the poor, the disabled and other vulnerable groups, with coverage of essential health care services in Africa being decidedly low: only 48 per cent of the population receives the health care services they need. This means that approximately 615 million people in Africa may not receive the healthcare services that they need.

 

Quality of health care services provided in African countries is also low and is considered the poorest performing indicator of UHC – when quality of health care services is considered, service coverage scores across African countries are even lower. The report also reveals that coverage of essential services needed by women and girls in Africa is low, with data indicating that between 2015 to 2019, only 49 per cent of African women had their demand for contraceptives satisfied.