ACHESTs Executive Director at the Annual Scientific Conference in Kisumu

on Monday, 03 September 2018.

The African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHESTs) Executive Director Prof. Francis Omaswa and the Health Systems Advocacy Project Officer in Kenya Ms. Noel Likalamu attended the Annual Scientific Conference on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals through Innovative Partnership from 21st to 23rd August 2018 in Kisumu, Kenya.
Tropical Institute of Community Health organized the conference that brought together more than 300 participants including ministers of health from three countries and health leaders. Professor Francis Omaswa was one of the key speakers at the conference and made two presentations on; Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) and Human Resources for Health Innovations. Kisumu Conference PhotoKisumu Conference Photo
While presenting on the two topics he highlighted two important issues. On NCDs, he pointed to the pressures society and governments have to pay more attention to repairing and restoring lost and broken individual and community health, which are stronger than those to promote and protect existing health are.
On Human Resources for Health Innovation to promote strategies that will leave no one behind and address inequality, he advised that Uganda should abolish user-fees for the minimum service package to promote a fair distribution of the burden of health financing on households (PHC). In addition, institutionalize a Total Quality Management approach through systematic entrenchment of continuous quality improvement and performance culture in services delivery at all levels.
ACHEST disseminated Information Education and Communication material at the conference that included; “Strong Ministries for Strong Health Systems” handbook and African Health Leaders handbook.
A collaboration program between ACHEST and the Tropical Institute of Community Health was hatched during the meeting.

ACHEST together with CEHURD engage on Conceptualization of the Readiness to Implement World Bank Global Financing Facility

on Friday, 17 August 2018.

DkoiZ3sX0AApXSw1DkoiZ3sX0AApXSw1frican Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) in partnership with Center for Health, Human Rights and Development organized a dissemination meeting on 15th August 2018 at Imperial Royale Hotel to disseminate findings of an exploratory study titled, "Business Unusual?-Conceptualization and Implementation of the World Bank Global Financing Facility (GFF) in Uganda."
A study conducted by CEHURD, the chair of the Reproductive Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) Coalition that ACHEST supports highlighted some of the challenges with the current design of GFF which includes among others; Results Based Financing requires a strong Health System and technical capacity on the part of service providers which are not in place. The selection criteria for the beneficiary facilities based on the RBF concept of good performance could further undermine the poorly performing facilities and limited involvement of CSOs could undermine the monitoring of GFF performance implementation.
The objective of the meeting was to share the final report, discuss recommendations and strategies for addressing the capacity needs, gaps as well as opportunities for engagement in the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the GFF project in Uganda following the approval of Uganda's investment case by the World Bank.


Health Systems Advocacy Partners in Uganda organize a fact-finding mission for Members of Parliament

on Monday, 13 August 2018.

As part of the advocacy strategy under the Health Systems Advocacy Partnership; African CentreMubende 4Mubende 4 for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), Amref Health Africa and Health Action International (HAI) represented by Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPS) organized a fact finding visit for representatives of the Parliamentary Forum on Quality of Health Care Services.

The six days (4th to 9th July 2018) fact-finding mission was based on four objectives and these included:
(1): To follow up on health worker absenteeism in an earlier research finding; (2): to ascertain stock levels for SRH commodities in the selected facilities; (3): to find out governance issues affecting the delivery of quality health care service; (4): and to assess the working conditions of health workers and its impact on quality of health service care provided.

The field visit followed a petition by a group of CSOs to the speaker of Parliament on the status of health care services that was tabled on May17th 2018. The HSAP partners in Uganda therefore found it appropriate to support the legislators to carry out targeted visits to four sampled districts in the Central, Northern and Eastern regions and in the districts of; Bukedea, Lira, Mubende and Mityana.

Building capacity of indigenous CSOs will scale up Social Accountability for Improved Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health

on Monday, 13 August 2018.

The African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) participated, exhibited and disseminated Information, Education and Communication materials at the National Social Accountability Dialogue organized by World Vision Uganda in partnership with the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) at Hotel Africana on 1st August 2018.
The dialogue whose theme was “Scaling up Social Accountability for Improved Reproductive maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health” brought together more than 300 social accountability actors that included; religious leaders, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), local government representatives, Ministry of health representatives, development partners among others to chat ways of improving health care.
Dr. Patrick Kadama, the Director of Policy and Practice at ACHEST noted that building the capacity of indigenous CSOs and positioning them will go a long way in scaling up Social Accountability for Improved Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health. Dr. Kadama noted this while making a submission during the dialogue.
Dr. Kadama also expressed his dissatisfaction with the delayed passing of the East African Community Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Bill. He implored the Ugandan Policy makers at the East African Legislative Assembly and the responsible line ministries to fast track the process of passing the Bill into law.
The objectives of the dialogue were: 1) to lay strategies to scale up accountability towards improving Reproductive, Maternal Neonatal Child and Adolescent Health; 2) to Share best practices in social accountability and 3)to strengthen partnerships and networks in social accountability.
ACHEST exhibited its work at this meeting and disseminated a number of IEC materials some of which included; fact sheets on Health Systems Advocacy partnership, the African Health Journal, the work by the CSO coalition on RMNCAH among others.

ACHEST engaged at the UNHRO Resource Mobilization workshop in Kampala, Uganda

on Thursday, 21 June 2018.

Dr. David Okello, the Director of Non Communicable Diseases and Healthy Ageing at the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) attended a Resource Mobilization workshop on domestic funding for Health Research, organized by Uganda National Health Research Organization (UNHRO) in collaboration with IAVI held at Serena Hotel on 12th June 2018.

The workshop brought together a cross section of stakeholders from research institutions, academia, advocacy groups, government stakeholders; development partners, health science journalists and a strong contingent of members of the parliamentary committee on health. The aim of the workshop was to support and reinforce the call for national domestic funding for Health Research.

Dr. Okello made a presentation at the workshop titled: Resource Mobilization for HealthDr. Sam Okware of UNHRO and Dr. David Okello of ACHEST at the Resource Mobilization workshop in SerenaDr. Sam Okware of UNHRO and Dr. David Okello of ACHEST at the Resource Mobilization workshop in Serena Research. In his presentation, he highlighted key issues among others; the importance of Health Research, who should be involved in Health Research, how Health Research should be managed and where funding for Health Research should be obtained.

“More than ever before, advocacy and lobby with MoH and partners is needed to support the noble efforts of UNHRO in coordinating health research, which could provide the necessary innovative interventions to address the health challenges of the country.” Dr. Okello noted.

Dr Sam Okware provided a brief on the challenges facing UNHRO, with emphasis on poor funding support.
There was consensus from the delegates on the need to strengthen the coordinating role of UNHRO. The institution should be better resourced and given a dedicated vote for budget to enable it to do its work well.

The parliamentarians expressed concern that compared to other research institutions, UNHRO was largely not visible and many do not know about its roles. A strong call was made to UNHRO to come out boldly to sell its image to parliament in particular and to the media and the public.

ACHEST at the 65th East, Central and Southern Africa (ECSA) Health Ministers conference in Dar es Salaam

on Saturday, 24 March 2018.

Dr. Patrick Kadama , Director Policy and Strategy together with Dr. Peter Eriki, Director Health Systems represented the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) at the 65th ECSA Health Ministers ’ Conference, held at Kilimanjaro Hyatt Regency Hotel, Dar es Salaam, from 19th – 21st March 2018.
The 3 days conference hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania, through the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDEC) in collaboration with the ECSA Health Community brought together Ministers of Health, Senior Officials from Ministries of Health in the Member states, partners, Health training institutions and health Research institutions.
The conference was themed “Multi-sectoral Collaboration for Health towards Achievement of the SDGs” and covered the following sub themes: Governance and Leadership Practices in the Health sector; Mitigating the Impact of emerging and re-emerging diseases; Multi-Sectoral responses to Non-communicable Diseases and; Accountability for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health post-2015.

The Right Honorable Majaliwa Kassim Majaliwa (M.P), Prime Minister of The United Republic of Tanzania opened the conference and reiterated the commitment of Tanzania in continuing to host the ECSA Health Community in Arusha, Tanzania and to continue supporting the organization in every way.

65th Health Ministers Conference65th Health Ministers Conference

Dr. David O. Okello joins ACHEST as Director, Non Communicable Diseases and Healthy Aging

on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.

Dr. David. O Okello at the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation ACHEST officesDr. David. O Okello at the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation ACHEST officesDr David Okello, a retired World Health Organisation (WHO) expert, who in the past 5 years was serving as Head of Mission and Representative of WHO to Zimbabwe where he was responsible for the activities of WHO in the country joined the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) on 17th January 2018 to add his wealth of expertise to the pool of the existing health Think Tanks.

Prior to this, Dr Okello served as WHO Representative in Nigeria, Kenya and Swaziland; and for a period of about one year in 2006 was also responsible for overall oversight of the WHO Country office in South Africa. The work of WHO Country Representative involved working with top Government officials to provide policy advice on matters of health and development, and directing the work of WHO – including in-country coordination of WHO technical support using resources available in the country offices and in liaison with the Regional Office and the Global HQ.

Dr Okello is a public health veteran, with more than 35 years of national and international experience. He joined WHO’s Africa Regional Office in 2000 and has served during different periods of his career in WHO as Director of WHO Cluster on AIDS, TB and Malaria (ATM) in the African Region, the Coordinator of the Inter-Country Support Team for the East and Southern African countries and as Regional Advisor on Health Research Policy, Coordination and Development. As Director/ Aids TB and Malaria Programme, he supervised WHO’s work in contributing to the reduction of disease burden due to HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the countries of WHO Africa Region.

ACHEST held a Stakeholders Consultative workshop for harmonizing Laws on Regulation of Health Professionals.

on Wednesday, 24 January 2018.

Photo for website1Photo for website1On 12th January 2018, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) held a half day Stakeholders Consultation Workshop for harmonizing Laws on Regulation of Health Professionals aimed at strengthening Councils Capacity to oversee and regulate quality of Private Health Practices in Uganda at Hotel Africana, Kampala.
The objectives of the workshop included: to present and discuss program results, engage stakeholders to discuss the way forward on the harmonization of regulation of health professionals in Uganda and; Generate consensus on the harmonization recommendations to the Minister of Health. The Professional Council representatives were from; The Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council, the Uganda Allied Health Professionals’ Council and the Uganda Pharmacy Council.
“The regulation of health professionals belonging to the same disciplines, but subscribing to different regulatory bodies continues to pose a challenge of enforcing and maintaining the desired quality and professional standards.” Dr. Sarah Byakika, Commissioner Planning at the Ministry of Health remarked while giving the opening remarks on behalf of the Director General, Ministry of Health.
Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of ACHEST while speaking on the topic: Harmonization from Training to Practice called for strengthening of the professional colleges so that the professionals themselves supervise the different practices. The surgically related professionals should be working together with the Allied Health Professionals; Anesthetic people should be working together with the doctors to achieve quality services. If the harmonization of all this is not done, we are headed for disastrous times ahead. Prof. Omaswa warned.
During the meeting, the Legal Consultant, Robert Kirunda made a presentation on the Legal reforms and progress towards harmonization and advised that, “The laws made should ensure that the professional health practitioners are comfortable to practice while the patients are adequately protected as they seek health services.”
Prof. Joel Okullo, the Chairperson for Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council applauded the USAID/Uganda Private Health Support Program for the great work done through ACHEST in contributing towards building capacity of Health professional Councils in Uganda. “The capacity of the councils has been strengthened and the councils have since gained international recognition to the point that other countries are now benchmarking from Uganda.”
The program launched in December 2015 has achieved its objectives that include updating and revision of all three Health Professionals Councils’ regulations, Streamlining laws, Consolidating and Digitizing Professional and Facility Licensing Systems and Creating Critical Tools for Quality Assurance. Harmonization of the reviewed Acts for all the councils to promote streamlined regulation of health professionals aimed at improved quality of care in Uganda remains one of the key deliverables of the project.
To achieve the harmonization process, the meeting agreed to constitute a small working group constituted by representatives from the four councils to be coordinated by the Registrars’ forum, chaired by the Ministry of Health.
Dithan Kiragga, the Chief of Party for USAID/Uganda Private Health Support Program commended ACHEST for the work well done and noted that, this has been one of the best USAID funded projects implemented with great success.

Compiled by Loice Epetiru,
Communications Specialist, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST)

The Health Systems Advocacy Partnership 2017 Joint Action Planning Meeting in Kampala

on Thursday, 07 December 2017.

Prof. Francis Omaswa SpeakingProf. Francis Omaswa SpeakingThe Health Systems Advocacy Partners (ACHEST, HAI, Amref Health Africa and Wemos) convened for the second annual Joint Action Planning Meeting in Kampala at Hotel Africana from 28th-30th November 2017. This meeting brings together the entire project implementing partnership team from all the eight contexts which include: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, the Africa Region, European Union and the Global Context.
The main objective of the Joint Action Planning meeting was to review the outcomes of 2017 and fine-tune plans for 2018, with a specific focus on strengthening thematic linkages within and across contexts.
The meeting was divided into three main sessions: Outcome harvesting where partners reflected on the outcomes for 2017 using the outcome harvesting methodology, planning for 2018 where partners reflected on how to strategically position themselves in 2018 to deliver the project and the joint advocacy efforts in which partners made reflections on advocacy efforts they could all contribute to and synergize given their unique niches and contributions to the programme.
During the meeting, partners presented Master Class sessions in which best practices were shared by all partners while Poster sessions gave all participants opportunities to appreciate how each partner implemented activities in 2017.

Joint Action Planning Meeting for the HSAP taking place on 28th-30th November 2017, Kampala Uganda.

on Tuesday, 28 November 2017.

Every year all the Health Systems Advocacy Partners (HSAP) convene in a chosen country led by the Coordinating office in the Netherlands for a Joint Action Planning meeting. The meeting brings together all the implementing partners to share; work plans, strategies, successes, lessons learnt, challenges and opportunities for the past and coming implementation periods. The event gives an opportunity for all partners to meet and reflect on the year’s happenings while also shaping the plans for the next year into concrete actions.

The objectives of the Joint Action Planning meeting are:
• Review and reflect on results of 2017 implementation by partners, and Identify the contribution of some results by partners to outcomes in the ToC per HSA Context
• Present to partners and discuss our work plan for 2018 (Including policy advocacy strategies for 2018 according to thematic areas and contexts (Country, regional and global work agenda).
o Align advocacy strategies to thematic areas and harmonize across contexts
o Fine tune advocacy agenda and related advocacy messages for 2018
o Identify commonalities in the advocacy agenda with other partners for co-ordination
o Work plan for generation of new evidence and learning –our research agenda

After a successful kick-off of the inception phase of the Health Systems Advocacy (HSA) Partnership which concluded with a Joint Action Planning meeting in Nairobi in 2016, all HSA teams were energized and inspired to work along aligned and integrated work plans for the second year of the partnership. 2017 brings yet another opportunity for the second edition of the Joint Action Planning meeting.

This year’s Joint Planning meeting will bring together over 40 participants from all the contexts of; Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Regional and Global to Kampala, Uganda from 28 to 30 November 2017. During this session the different organizations will present posters depicting their in 2017 and a Masters Class program where they will share strategies they have successfully employed and lessons learnt. The event will also give an opportunity to discuss in detail the ToC for Tanzania and Malawi that are new entrants and work plans as well as agreeing on the learning agenda for the Partnership and the upcoming CSO Symposium in 2018.

 Compiled by Loice Epetiru,

Communications Specialist, African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST)

ACHEST at the 4th Global forum on Human Resources for Health in Dublin

on Tuesday, 28 November 2017.

The 4th Global forum on Human Resources for Health is an event that takes place every four years and brings together stakeholders from around the world to discuss the global Human Resources for Health (HRH) agenda with the aim of attaining universal health coverage, health security and achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s event was held from 13th to 17th November 2017, at the Royal Dublin Society in Ireland. The forum was premised on the theme: “Health Systems for the Future: 2030 and Beyond.” The event brought together more than 1000 delegates from over 90 countries from across sectors and institutions including representatives of: governments, UN Family, academia, civil society and youth and discussed all aspects of HRH.
The African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) was represented by a high level delegation of seven people who included; Francis Omaswa, Peter Eriki, Patrick Kadama, Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde, Vincent Ojoome, Robert Odedo and Loice Epetiru. Their participation was supported by the WHO except for one delegate who was sponsored by the HSA Partnership project.
During the Forum, ACHEST was; convener, speaker or chaired a number of track sessions, side events and plenary sessions as follows:
1. The Global Health Workforce Network Side Event – Speaker Francis Omaswa
2. Leadership Hub of GHWFN Side Event: Speaker Francis Omaswa
3. Brain Drain Brain Gain Side Event – Conveners and Speaker All and Hon Sarah Opendi
4. Reseau Vision Tokyo Side Event – Speaker Francis Omaswa
5. CSO Coalition on HRH Side Event, -Convener, Speaker All and Francis Omaswa
6. Making Partnerships Work for Workforce 2030 – Moderator Francis Omaswa, Speaker, Elsie, Kiguli-Malwadde
7. How Quality Improvement Empowers Health Workers to Improve Performance–Moderator Francis Omaswa, Speaker Vincent Ojoome.
8. The African HRH Platform Side Event : Convener and Speakers
9. Delivering Health in Rural Communities: Elsie Kiguli-Malwadde Speaker
10. How to Advance Political Will and Improve Accountability: Patrick Kadama Speaker
11. Governance and Accountability: Moderator Patrick Kadama
12. Closing Plenary : Speaker Francis Omaswa

ACHEST at the First Uganda National Presidential Dialogue

on Friday, 06 October 2017.

On 29th September 2017, the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) together with CSOs working on the health agenda in Uganda; in partnership with the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on Quality of Health Care held the First National Presidential Dialogue on Quality of Health Care at Collin Hotel in Mukono.
The dialogue that was premised on the theme: Improving Health Service Delivery to Ensure Quality Care for all brought together more than 800 participants from: Civil Society Organizations, Religious Institutions, Government line ministries, Members of parliament, students, academia and the media.

ACHEST held the final dissemination meeting for the Brain Drain to Brain Gain project in Uganda

on Thursday, 31 August 2017.

pic1pic1In 2015 Trinidad and Tobago came close to reaching a deal with the Ugandan government to allow its health personnel migrate to work in the duo countries in a bilateral agreement before this opportunity was intercepted by activists’ protestation and court cases suing the government for this action.On Friday, 25th August 2017 at Imperial Royale hotel in Kampala when ACHEST was closing a three year project; Brain Drain to Brain Gain that was funded by the European Union through WHO; Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) noted that it was a missed opportunity on Uganda’s part to have declined the Trinidad and Tobago opportunity citing the many medical graduates who are languishing in unemployment as the government struggles to absorb many of the graduates into the public facilities.
Dr. Patrick Kadama. Director Health Policy at ACHEST advised that Uganda should tweak its policy instruments to ensure that our unemployed people in Uganda are taken care of in other countries to the benefit of the country.

Civil Society Organizations Trained on Policy Lobby and Advocacy in Uganda

on Friday, 18 August 2017.

26 Civil Society Organizations working on Maternal health, Child health, Adolescents health, HIV/AIDs and Human Rights related issues were trained by the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) on policy lobby and advocacy.

The four days training held from 7th- 10th August 2017 in Entebbe, Uganda hinged on one of the major Health Systems Advocacy Partnership project components that is aimed at building capacity of indigenous civil society organizations to be able to engage effectively with governments, the private sector and other stakeholders accountable for health systems to deliver; equitable, accessible and high-quality SRHR and services.

“Wanting to become agents of change should be the drive for every individual to work hard. The lobby and advocacy skills acquired from the training will go a long way in bringing the change that we want to see.” Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of ACHEST noted whole speaking at the training.
He advised the coalition members to create a lot of awareness around reproductive health like it was done around HIV AIDS being cognizant of the fact that maternal health is one indicator that did not perform well during the Millennium Development Goal era.