With over 1,500 delegates and 60 partners from 47 countries, Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) was a conference for Africans in Africa. The African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) participated in the AHAIC 2019 Conference in Kigali, Rwanda organized by Amref Health Africa and Rwandas’ Ministry of Health from 5-7 March 2019.
Professor Philip Cotton, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Rwanda got the conference off to a great start on the first day of the AHAIC with a provocative pre-plenary special lecture on morality and health. He literally climbed over chairs in the plenary hall to demonstrate that "nothing must stand in our way to get to the people we want to reach."
In the first Plenary, experts discussed the next frontiers in primary health care as a key pathway to achieving universal health coverage. "It's time to go to scale on primary health care," noted Dr Jean Kagubare from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Rwanda, where more than 90% of people are insured, has already shown that this is possible.
At the Opening Ceremony, Africa Health 2019 co-chairs Hon Dr Diane Gashumba, Minister of Health of Rwanda, and Dr Githinji Gitahi, Global CEO of Amref Health Africa, welcomed conference attendees.
"Access to health care should not be a lottery of where you are born and how wealthy your family is," noted Dr Gitahi in a compelling opening speech. The highlight of the Opening Ceremony was no doubt the cross-generational discussion led by Marie Claire Wangari, the representative from the Youth Pre-conference, who asked her elders to sit on the stage steps for an informal discussion among equals.