The Mastercard Foundation participated in the fifth annual Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC 2023) from March 5 to March 8, 2023, at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, with the theme Resilient Health Systems for Africa: Re-envisioning the Future Now.
The three-day was an opportunity to lead and broaden the conversation about engaging youth, especially young women, in strategic discussions and decision-making in public health. It was also a platform to position thought leadership and amplify the need for job creation in the health sector, especially for paid Community health workers.
The conference brought together thought leaders, academics, politicians, innovators, researchers, policymakers, health workers, and community mobilizers to engage in dialogue and action on health and climate issues.
The Foundation participated in three sessions during the Conference. First, Nelly Ale, Head of Health Eco-Systems at Mastercard Foundation, moderated the launch of Africa CDC’s Digital Transformation Strategy, which is focused on transforming Africa CDC into an informatics-savvy institution. In addition, positioning the Africa CDC to provide the vital support that Member States need will help lead to the digitization of health systems. Technology is a key enabler of positive health outcomes. But for technology to help strengthen the continent’s health systems, African countries require deeper and more meaningful collaboration between the technology sector, healthcare workers, policymakers and communities.
Dr. Julie Gichuru, Mastercard Foundation Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer, moderated a session to debut the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) laboratory in three testing countries: Senegal, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The reception brought together high-level government officials, AHAIC commissioners, development partners and civil society organizations to discuss UHC delivery challenges, navigate solutions, and launch the UHC Delivery Lab as a resource hub for engaged dialogue to influence Universal Healthcare for all. Ensuring that in-country collaboration and community engagement are prioritized was discussed to strengthen the UHC system. In addition, it was raised that governments must be committed to training and deploying healthcare workers while providing time to evaluate and develop policy.
The journey of Universal Health Coverage does not happen in isolation, no one walks this journey alone, we walk alongside our stakeholders. We work in co-creation with countries for the solution they need.” Dr. Oludare Bodunrin during the Strengthening Health Systems for Equitable UHC session.
Dr. Connie Shumba, Lead of Health, Projects and Planning, spoke at the plenary: Building Trust in Public Health Systems – Investing in Communication for Health Transformation. Dr. Connie underlined the role of respectful, action-oriented partnerships in building community trust and strengthening health systems citing the 1.5bn historic partnership with Africa CDC through the Saving Lives and Livelihoods initiative.