Thursday, 7 March 2019

News Release: Key Initiatives Launched At The Close Of The Africa Health 2019 Conference

The Africa Health Agenda International Conference (Africa Health 2019) concluded today with leaders making bold commitments to scaling up access to health for all in their countries. I’ve attached the official conference press release and highlighted below key announcements made and several initiatives launched at the conference. 

President Paul Kagame received the UHC Presidential Champion award for his relentless political leadership and accountability to advance UHC in Rwanda, and serving as an example for the region. In the past few years, Rwanda has significantly improved its focus on health care and managed to bring 90% of its population under the popular community-based insurance scheme. As the chair of the African Union, President Kagame has repeatedly voiced his support for UHC and encouraged leaders to commit to achieving the UHC vision.Ethiopia’s Minister of Health was also recognised for efforts to strengthen Primary Health Care, receiving the UHC Ministerial Champion award..

Amref Health Africa and Results for Development launched the Strategic Purchasing Africa Resource Center (SPARC), a new resource centre to help African countries get more value for money from health spending. Headed by Mr Nathaniel Otoo, the ex-CEO of Ghana’s National Health Insurance Agency and Dr Cheryl Cashin, SPARC-R4D Liaison, the Center will connect a network of regional strategic purchasing experts to match country needs with existing expertise and share practical solutions and new knowledge on strategic purchasing.

The Women in Global Health (WGH) Africa Regional Hub was launched to drive greater gender equity in global health leadership in Africa. Founded in 2015, WGH works with stakeholders from governments, civil society, academia, and the private sector, among others, to encourage women’s representation in diverse health leadership roles.

Parliamentarians from Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia launched the ‘Kigali UHC Communiqué’ committing to advance Universal Health Coverage in their countries, including by strengthening health systems, addressing health inequities, supporting community health and ensuring universal access to immunization.

i-PUSH, an initiative of Amref Health Africa and PharmAccess Foundation, was launched at the conference. The i-Push program aims to leverage mobile technology to directly connect women to health care financing, quality health care and information empowerment.

The inaugural Excellence in Health Journalism Awards were presented by the Africa Media Network on Health, recognising health champions in the media. The award ceremony honoured journalists who have demonstrated outstanding merit in health reporting, and launched a new curriculum for journalist education in health. 

Whitney Mwangi
Associate | GHS Nairobi
M: +254 727 349971

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