Rwanda is hosting the largest continental health summit that aims at mobilizing Africa to achieve universal Health coverage.
This two-day conference (5-7th March) is running under the theme; ‘2030 Now: Multi-Sectoral Action to Achieve Universal Health Coverage in Africa.’
According to organisers, the conference has attracted more than 1,500 delegates and 60 partners from 47 countries.
Different panelists are taking turns making submissions detailing a roadmap for achieving the health for all goal.
Rwanda which has successfully implemented a universal health cover for all its citizens is being considered as proof that it is possible to have an entire Africa enjoying similar health coverage.
According to the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), “walking more than 20 km a day to reach the community with health care is not easy but is doable if there is political will, agreed salaries for the front line health workers. We may see a game changer. It has happened in Ethiopia and Rwanda.”
The conference has duly recognized Ethiopia which received the PHC for UHC ministerial champion award for its commitment to achieving universal primary health care through the Introduction of a community health extension program.
In his presentation to the conference, Emma P. Fowlds from the UNAIDS Executive Office said, “access to health should not be like playing the lottery where if you are born rich you win and if you are born poor you lose.”
Other experts believe that for the continent to enjoy full access to health for all, focus should be given to adolescent girls across Africa. The governments should improve their access to information and quality services. They are the future of our continent.
In his view, Prof Philip Cotton says, “we name, we shame, we blame, and we diminish people because of their health status. We need more empathy in the health sector! We need to invest in the future of healthcare – not through technology and machines – but through more empathy.”