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Webinar: A public-private dialogue: how can we work together to combat COVID-19 in Africa?

When:   -
Timezone: UTC+02:00


Health systems consist of all the people and actions whose primary purpose is to improve health – whether they are in the public or the private sector. They may be integrated and centrally directed, but often they are not. Historically, limited attention has been paid to the range of products and services delivered in the private health sector, or the quality of the outputs delivered (e.g. their safety, appropriateness and efficacy), or their prices (which often are paid by users directly out of pocket).

If countries are to reach their health goals, countries need to harness all available resources for achieving and sustaining health goals, and not only that part over which the public sector has formal control. Mindful of this need for change, WHO has developed a programme of work centered around supporting countries to engage their private sector in service of their national health objectives.

In 2019, WHO has convened an Advisory Group on the Governance of the Private Sector for UHC to act as an advisory body to WHO about developing and implementing governance and regulatory arrangements for managing private sector service delivery for UHC. The Advisory Group has developed a draft roadmap “Engaging the private health sector for Universal Health Coverage” which supports a new way of doing business for health system governance.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a surge in healthcare demand in all affected countries. To respond to this, the full range of health system actors – in both the public and private health sector – need to be mobilized. Engaging with the private sector during the pandemic is critical: (i) in many low- and middle- income countries (LMICs), the private health sector provides a significant proportion of health services and products; (ii) it owns and manages resources that can contribute to surge capacity for responding to the pandemic; (iii) its activities must be aligned with national response efforts.

In this context, WHO has accelerated its work on private sector engagement in order to support countries to bring the private sector into the COVID-19 response. An Action Plan has been developed aiming to create a single, unified and coherent response to the COVID-19 pandemic that integrates the public and private health sectors  This Action Plan is now supplemented with an analysis of the six policy challenges that LMICs are facing in enabling the domestic private health sector to support the national response to COVID-19.

On Saturday 16th May 2020 - 4.00 to 5.30pm (EAT), the webinar “A public-private dialogue: how can we work together to combat COVID-19 in Africa” will discuss how the Action Plan and the identified policy challenges play out in the WHO AFRO region. The webinar will include interventions from Dr Matshidiso Moeti (WHO Regional Director for Africa), M. David Clarke (WHO HQ HGF), Dr Amit N. Thakker (President Africa Healthcare Federation) and Dr. Parfait Uwaliraye (Director General of Planning, Health Financing and Information Systems, Ministry of Health, Rwanda). 


About the speakers

Dr Matshidiso Moeti

Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti from Botswana was elected as WHO Regional Director for Africa on 1 February 2015. Dr Moeti is the first woman WHO Regional Director for Africa. Dr Moeti aims to build a responsive, effective and result-driven regional secretariat that can advance efforts towards universal health coverage and accelerate progress toward global development goals, while tackling emerging threats. Strong partnerships will underpin every aspect of the Regional Office's work during her tenure. Dr Moeti is a public health veteran, with more than 35 years of national and international experience. 

Dr Amit N. Thakker

Dr. Amit N. Thakker has been a groundbreaking pioneer in the metamorphosis and integration of healthcare management in Africa. He is the Chairman of the Africa Healthcare Federation, Chairman of Africa Health Business, Founder and Board Director of the East Africa Healthcare Federation, Chairman of Kenya Healthcare Federation and the Co-Founder of Avenue Healthcare.

Dr. Parfait Uwaliraye

Dr. Parfait Uwaliraye serves currently as the Director General of Planning, Health Financing and Information System in the Ministry of Health in Rwanda since November 2012. He leads the Ministry's work in Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, Health Financing, Partners' Coordination and Health Information Systems through Policy Development, Advocacy, Research and Resources Mobilization. Dr. Parfait Uwaliraye is qualified as a medical doctor with a Masters degree in Public Health. He worked as a Research Assistant, a District Medical Officer and the Director of a rural hospital prior to join the Ministry. He has a particular focus on Health Policy & Planning, Health Financing, Private Sector Engagement, Global Health and Health workforce development.

David Clarke

David Clarke is a public health lawyer.  He is a senior health system advisor at WHO HQ in Geneva. David works in three main areas: using law and regulation to implement Universal Health Coverage (UHC), supporting countries to strategically engage the private sector in service of UHC and developing preventative approaches to mitigate the risk of health system corruption.


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