The 2nd UK-East African Healthcare Summit was held on 22.04.17 at BMA House, London. It was attended by over 180 delegates, including the High Commissioners of Kenya and Uganda to the UK, the Ugandan Minister of Health, Global Leaders in Healthcare, policy makers, leading researchers, investors in healthcare and of course, diaspora.
The meeting was superbly compèred by Dr Tracy Eastman from the British Medical Journal (BMJ), and opened by Moses Mulimira, the chair of the organising committee, who reflected on outcomes from the Inaugural Summit, which focused on the UK-Uganda healthcare links; this was followed up later in the programme by a report from Mark Fletcher on behalf of Lord Dolar Popat, on the impact investment has had on services provided at Busolwe Hospital in rural Uganda.
Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor-in chief of The BMJ then welcomed guests to the conference, and was seconded by Dr Terry John, Chair of the International Committee programme, British Medical Association. Following this, delegates heard from Jeremy Butler on the business of healthcare; Dr Jocalyn Clark, Executive Editor at the Lancet, about utilising evidence to advocate for global health; and Dr Mbololwa Mbikusita-Lewanika, Health Advisor at the Commonwealth Secretariat, who spoke passionately about Universal Health Coverage and the great need for this in rural parts of the world.
The session ended with a fantastic presentation on the plight of refugees from Robert Kwesiga, Secretary General, Red Cross Society, who alerted us to the fact that Uganda has the second highest number of refugees in the world, and that ongoing conflicts mean that refugees will continue to need support worldwide, including in the healthcare arena.
After a brief tea break, H.E. Professor Joyce Kakuramatsi Kikafunda, High Commissioner of Uganda to the UK welcomed delegates to the summit and reiterated her support and that of the Ugandan High Commission to the summit. She spoke about the importance of strengthening healthcare systems in Uganda to reduce the impact of poor health. She was followed by Mrs Grace Cerere, Deputy Head of Mission at the Kenya High Commission, who spoke on the impact of Public Private Partnerships in Kenya, and how they are being utilised to improve access to and quality of healthcare.
Professor Wilson Kibiki, Executive Secretary of the East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC) then spoke about the importance of research in the African context, and the value of South-South collaborations. He welcomed researchers in the audience to join networks in order to increase the impact of their research. Following this, delegates heard from Lord Nigel Crisp, Co-Chair, All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health, about the Nursing Now initiative. He emphasised the importance of Nurses as a pillar of healthcare systems worldwide, and revealed that that universal health coverage (UHC) cannot be achieved without strengthening nurses and enabling them to make a far greater contribution than they currently do to healthcare systems.
Dr Yvonne Mburu of MedinAfrica spoke on the importance of African diaspora in healthcare, revealing data that suggests that up to 10% of the US healthcare workforce may be of African origin, and looked at innovations that address the problem of brain drain.
We then heard from the Keynote speaker, Hon Jane Aceng, Minister of Health of Uganda, about the health priorities of the nation, and how the UK-Uganda Health Alliance has successfully created collaborations and partnerships that are leading to evidence based care, as well as strengthening healthcare institutions.
After an engaging question and answer session, we then had a short lunch break. More in the next post!