JavaScript Required

The P4H website is designed to perform best with Javascript enabled. Please enable it in your browser. If you need help with this, check out

AHAIC 2019 regional Conference on UHC took place in Kigali - P4H Network

AHAIC 2019 regional Conference on UHC took place in Kigali

  • Day one was primarily dedicated to setting the UHC scene.  The discussions started around the need of strong primary health care (PHC) systems as frontline for achieving UHC.  AHAIC 2019 took forth conversations initiated at the Astana conference on PHC to narrow in on the future of PHC systems in Africa. Looking to draw lessons from African countries that are leading in modelling high-performing PHC interventions, that are affordable, accessible and sustainable.  Speakers here included: Dr Jean Kagubare, Deputy Director of Global Primary Health Care, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hon Sarah Opendi Minister of State for Health Uganda, Rogerio Ribeiro, Senior Vice President, Global Health Unit, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Farid Fezoua President & CEO, GE Healthcare Africa, Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi, Minister of State for Primary Health Care, Rwanda, Dr Sanele Madela Founder & CEO, Expectra 868 Health Solutions, South Africa, Wilson Musoni, Community Health Worker, Rwanda.
  • How to finance the expansion of UHC was the hot topic of Day 2. A panel kicked off discussions with Yacine Sambe Diouf from the Ministry of Economy and Finance in Senegal and Dr Angela Gichaga, CEO of Financing Alliance for Health. Diouf gave health advocates some expert advice on how to better engage with finance ministries: understand competing priorities for different sectors, allow time for gradual budget increases, and demonstrate results for the money that is already allocated. It was interesting to hear that Senegal is planning to meet the Abuja Declaration target of dedicating 15% of the state budget to health in three years.
  • Hon Dr Diane Gashumba (Minister of Health Rwanda) opened the subsequent plenary on access to care, in conversation with Senait Fiseha Alemu, a Health Extension Worker from Ethiopia. They discussed a range of ways to motivate community health workers, including performance-based remuneration, education and professional development opportunities, and the importance of community recognition. 
  • HE Toyin Saraki (Founder-President of The Wellbeing Foundation Africa), Hon Sarah Opendi (State Minister for Health, Uganda), and others joined together for a great conversation around social accountability for UHC hosted by PATH together with Amref Health Africa. “We must match the intelligence and knowledge of communities with global innovation. Too often national or global policy decisions simply don’t make it effectively to the frontline,” said HE Saraki.
  • Day 3’s morning’s Plenary kicked off with a conversation on how to define and improve quality care across diverse settings. As panelist a medical doctor from Rwanda noted, “If the patient cannot accept the care, then it is not quality – we need to deliver quality care that meets the needs of the patient.” Joining Dr Dahir on the panel were Serigne Magueye Gueye, President of the West African College of Surgeons; Frasia Karua, General Manager at Amref Enterprises; and Ian Askew, Director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research at WHO. Discussions focused on the importance of data, measurement and community-based interventions to improve quality of care.
  • The next Plenary continued with an exciting panel on innovations that are driving change and leapfrogging progress towards UHC in Africa – including mobile phone technologies to put people in touch with doctors and quality care when they need it ( International Programmes Director, Babylon Health); robotics and artificial intelligence to facilitate health care delivery (MINT Innovations); strategies to leverage existing product supply chains to deliver essential medicines (ColaLife); drone technology to deliver blood products to remote communities (Head of National Implementation (Rwanda), Zipline International); and digital innovations to reach the last mile and advance health equity, such as electronic immunization registries that give frontline health workers data on each child at their fingertips (David Fleming, Vice President, Global Health Programs, PATH).
  • In the afternoon, Dr Kibachio Joseph Mwangi, who heads the fight against NCDs at the Kenyan Ministry of Health, started off by sharing his own family’s struggles to demonstrate the social and financial burden of non-communicable diseases. When his own mother fell ill with cancer, she asked him three questions:
    • Why should me being ill come at the expense of my granddaughters?
    • Why can’t the government talk to drug manufacturers to lower the price of drugs?
    • Who will take care of you, my son?   
      The plenary brought together a diverse group of speakers to consider the power of public-private partnerships to drive access and quality of health services, using examples from Gavi, MSD for Mothers, IFPMA, Nutrition International, and more.
  • To conclude the conference, 11 parliamentarians from Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia launched the “Kigali UHC communiqué,” committing to strengthen health systems, address health inequities, support community health and ensure universal access to immunization to drive progress on UHC in their countries.
Related Contents