Press Release

WHO Africa Health Forum to shape next steps in universal health care on the continent

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Global leaders and health experts will come together at the continent’s seminal health-focused event to identify workable solutions that will strengthen African health services, deliver more effective health security and make significant inroads towards achieving universal health coverage.

The Government of Cabo Verde and the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa  are hosting the second WHO Africa Health Forum in Praia, Cabo Verde, 26–28 March 2019, under the theme of “Achieving Universal Health Coverage and Health Security: The Africa We Want to See.”

The Forum aims to go far beyond dialogue to provide a platform where new partnerships, initiatives and programmes are forged to create meaningful changes that will improve lives by making better health care available to all. To challenge the status quote, the themes for the three-day event will include the link between health security and achieving universal health coverage, multisector collaboration, private sector investment, harnessing technological solutions and youth engagement.

“Africa’s health challenges have become increasingly complex,” says Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “With the continent facing a growing number of outbreaks and the dual challenges of communicable diseases and chronic illnesses, we can’t continue with business as usual. This Forum will introduce innovations and kick-start new partnerships that will reshape how we practise health.”

The Forum is taking place in Cabo Verde, a country that has made huge strides in health since it became independent in 1975. The Government of Cabo Verde has introduced such innovations as telemedicine and brought primary care to within 30 minutes of where 80% of the population lives.

“Africa faces a number of health care priorities and challenges resulting from epidemics and droughts, poor sanitation, lack of clean drinking water, insufficient numbers of trained medics and scarcity of access to affordable health care,” points out Arlindo do Rosário, Minister for Health and Social Security in Cabo Verde.

“While delegates will be conscious of the financial constraints facing many African countries, we look forward to the Forum’s insights on the intricacies of health care in Africa and the actions and solutions to create the policies and pan-African collaboration necessary to reach Africa’s goal of universal health coverage and health security,” he says.

Confirmed speakers include:

·         Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

·         H.E. Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, President of Cabo Verde

·         H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of Tanzania

·         Dr Amit Thakker, Executive Chairman of the Africa Healthcare Federation and the Africa Health Business

·         Zeinab Badawi, International broadcaster and Chair of the Royal African Society

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