SUN REPORTER writes
GLOBAL Health Strategies (South Africa) has announced that the Africa Health Agenda International Conference 2019, “Africa Health 2019”, will take place March 5-7, at the Kigali Convention Centre in Rwanda.
In an online press statement made public on yesterday, GHS Manager, Sikelelwa Geya Mdingi, stated that the health conference will be preceded by a youth pre-conference on March 3-4, to be co-hosted by Amref Health Africa and Rwanda’s Ministry of Health.
Mr. Sikelelwa said the conference will gather diverse stakeholders to address how Africa can accelerate progress toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC), and to collectively chart a course forward from commitment to action.
“As UHC gathers momentum globally, the event will mark a key milestone in elevating the voices of relevant African stakeholders in the run-up to the UN high-level meeting on UHC in September 2019,” he said
Africa Health 2019 will be the largest African-led health convening on the continent, with over 1,500 participants expected.
According to the statement, speakers at the conference will include, Hon. Dr. Diane Gashumba (Minister of Health, Republic of Rwanda and co-chair, Africa Health 2019 Organising Committee), Dr. Githinji Gitahi (Group CEO, Amref Health Africa and co-chair, UHC2030 Steering Committee) and H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki (founder and presi-dent, Wellbeing Foundation Africa).
The others will be Dr. Soumya Swaminathan (Deputy Director General for Programmes, World Health Organization), Hon. Dr. Robert Kuganab Lem (Member of Parliament, Ghana), Katja Iversen (President and CEO, Women Deliver), and Marijke Wijnroks (Chief of staff, The Global Fund).
Mr. Sikelelwa stated that these guests will join Ministers of Health, youth advocates, re-searchers, practitioners, thought leaders, trailblazers, civil society and community leaders, in diving into Africa’s most pressing health challenges and co-creating home-grown so-lutions. An up-to-date list of speakers can be accessed here: https://ahaic.org/speakers/.
He said, the conference will serve as the go-to, knowledge-sharing forum to map how new research, innovation and political commitments will help drive Africa’s UHC pro-gress over the next decade.
“Various settings, from main plenaries and partner-led side sessions to scientific work-shops and an innovation marketplace, will fill the three-day event and cover topics in-cluding: communicable and non-communicable diseases; health in fragile settings; the role of youth in advocating for UHC; sexual and reproductive health and rights; innova-tion and technology; UHC financing, and accountability for health,” he stated.
Mr. Sikelelwa explained that, expected announcements include a new initiative advocat-ing for gender equality in health leadership in Africa, the launch of a regional movement to engage youth in UHC policies and processes, and the launch of resource centre to help African countries get more value for money from health spending.
He said that among the many insightful sessions, powerful commitments toward UHC targets will be rejuvenated through a ministerial panel featuring health leaders from Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia while the International Wom-en’s Day celebration will feature an award ceremony to recognise the contributions of women leaders driving change in the African health landscape. “Also to be featured, will be the inaugural Excellence in Health Journalism Awards will recognise journalists who have demonstrated outstanding merit in health reporting and launch a new curriculum for journalist education in health,” further stated the statement.