2021 Webinar Series

Investing in Africa’s healthcare sector is not an option – it is a must. It is an opportunity to accelerate economic development and growth, contribute to saving millions of lives and preventing life-long disabilities, and move countries closer to achieving objectives of national poverty reduction strategies and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Towards Sustainable Healthcare Systems in Africa

As Africa adapts to a new normal, partnerships in over-stretched health systems will continue to play an important role.While the current pandemic has put significant stress on the healthcare systems of the continent, it has also provided the base for building stronger and more resilient health systems. Participation by organisations, both non-profit and for-profit businesses, is vital in creating sustainable solutions to quality healthcare delivery. Private investors are already directing efforts to innovate the areas of disease management, digital health, human resources, financing, manufacturing and supply chain. The AHBS webinar series for 2021 consists of seven sessions discussing key areas that are at the centre of change.

Webinar Series Calendar

NCDs: An Urgent Call for Primary Health Care System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa

October 21st, 3:30pm – 5:00pm EAT
Primary healthcare spans various health issues affecting the upper, middle, and lower classes of the society. To strengthen primary healthcare systems, it is crucial to invest in public health education, especially regarding NCDs which are easily preventable. Additionally, it is key to reconsider the cost of monitoring and screening NCDs, cost of medication, and systems and policies which have been put in place to support patients. These and other factors within the primary healthcare setting should be the focal point of discussions geared towards the achievement of UHC for African countries. Below are three case studies reported in Kenya, demonstrating the situation and status of NCDs in Africa
“Optimally, primary health care systems should only be used to serve the right patients at the right time, the right place by the right healthcare worker and at the right cost”.
Dr. Anuschka Coovadia
Partner, Usizo Advisory Solutions
“Both the private and the public sector have to be involved in improving primary healthcare in Africa”
Jacqueline Kitulu
Dr. Jacqueline Kitulu
1st Deputy Governor, Kenya Red Cross Society

Healthcare Policy Harmonisation and Collaboration amongst Governments-A strategy Towards Sustainable Development in Africa

September 9th, 3:30pm – 5:00pm EAT
Healthcare policy harmonisation is the streamlining of regulation systems across multiple countries. Policy harmonisation and collaboration amongst governments will play an important role in the ability of African countries to achieve universal health coverage (UHC).
“I hope that this issue of policy, strategy and harmonisation continues to be a strong agenda because it is really critical to achieve the Universal Health Coverage that we are all envisioning, whilst establishing strong legal frameworks, governance, accountability mechanisms, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation tools for a stronger system.”
Lia Tadesse
Dr. Lia Tadesse
Minister for Health, Ethiopia
“Health is not a cost it is an investment”
Karim Bendhaou
Dr. Karim Bendhaou
Former Head of Africa Bureau, MERCK

The Power of Partnerships: Development Partners Value Creation in the Healthcare Sector

June 24th, 3:30pm – 5:00pm EAT
There are a lot of challenges facing partnerships, and in particular public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Africa’s healthcare space. In most cases, donor and government interests are not aligned and this brings about multiplicity of donor interests. Generally, there is a lack of a holistic view of what is happening in terms of different partnerships and available resources.
“Nothing can happen if you want to do it by yourself, especially in health. I strongly believe that there is need to put diplomacy of health in place.”
Karim Bendhaou
Dr. Karim Bendhaou
Former Head of Africa Bureau, MERCK
“The only solution to current and longterm health problems is partnerships.”
Ishrat Husain
Mrs. Ishrat Z. Husain
Senior Health Advisor, Africa Bureau, USAID

The Future of Health: Unlocking the Potential of Artificial Intelligence for Healthcare in Africa

May 13th, 3:30pm – 5:00pm EAT
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is defined as: “the imitation of human acumen in machines that are typically programmed to imitate human actions.” It is interdisciplinary science with numerous approaches of machine learning in the technology industry. In the recent past, AI has moved from being a futuristic promise into a reference point for innovation and is making it’s way out of research laboratories in Africa.
“Africa has an opportunity to leapfrog the world with AI in healthcare because one of the things we produce so well is data. Africa has little jurisdiction and over compliance problems as compared to other parts of the world, problems which sometimes stifle innovations.”
John Kamara
Mr. John Kamara
Entrepreneur, AfyaRekod and Adalabs
“When we talk about digital health and it's position in making healthcare services more sustainable, we have to look at it in terms of the benefits for the whole tripartite pyramid, including the provider, payer and patient.”
Joan Korir
Dr. Joanne R. Korir
Senior Health Advisor, Africa Bureau, USAID

Africa’s Readiness for the COVID-19 Vaccination Drive

April 8th, 3:30pm – 5:00pm EAT
Africa is yet to secure adequate volumes of the vaccine. As of 8th April 2021, Africa has administered vaccines to approximately 0.65% of the entire population and the African Union has a goal of vaccinating 60%. So Africa is behind, but things are moving in the right direction. The COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility (COVAX) is complementing the AU’s work with the goal of vaccinating 20% of the world’s population. This means there is a gap of 40% that the AU needs to fill. To this end, they are looking for further funding and support.
“We need to think out of the box. We aren’t going to jump right on existing facilities but be innovative in ensuring that we provide an enabling environment to rollout the COVID-19 vaccines.”
Nicaise Dembi
Dr. Nicaise Ndembi
Senior Science Advisor, Africa CDC
“We need to ensure that countries have systems in place that they’ve never needed before, from human resources to physical infrastructure to know-how and expertise. To ensure this, there is also a need for sufficient funding.”
Tara Prasad
Ms. Tara Prasad
Senior Manager - ACT-A/COVAX Coordination Secretariat for Supply for the UNICEF Supply Division

Health Business Investment in Africa

March 25th, 3:30pm – 5:00pm EAT
There are many barriers to providing adequate healthcare in Africa, but many of them can be addressed through increased investment in the sector. Recent estimates show that the African health sector will be worth around $259 billion by 2030, with the potential to create over 16 million jobs across the continent. There is great potential in the health sector, especially with an enabling environment for private sector engagement and participation.
“The challenges that we face in the health sector can be turned into opportunities for investment.”
Babatunde Omilola
Dr. Babatunde Omilola
Manager Public Health, Security and Nutrition Division, Africa Development Bank
“It is important for private sector health companies to form partnerships with banks, leasing companies and other financiers to mitigate some of the risks that they find in the healthcare investment space. ”
Ms. Jennifer Kinyoe
Country Manager, GE Healthcare East Africa

One Year on: What have we learned since news of COVID-19 first broke?

February 25th, 3:30pm – 5:00pm EAT
Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Africa to view health from a new perspective. Rather than representing a single, isolated issue, health is now seen as vital and integrated with every other aspect of governments and economies. This highlights the need for a multi-sectoral approach in preventing and addressing future pandemics. Public-private action is essential because both sectors serve the same population and actions on both sides are impacting the other.
“There is a need for us to be more systems focused in our thinking, rather than just healthcare focused in our thinking, because there are many aspects of our economies that impact the health sector.”
Mercy Mwangangi
Dr. Mercy Mwangangi
Former Chief Administrative Secretary, Ministry of Health, Kenya
“What will it take to win the battle against COVID19? (1) Personal discipline by following public health measures (2) Solidarity as a continent (3) Building our continental & national institutions so that they can build resilient health systems.”
Ahmed Ogwell
Dr. Ahmed Ogwell
Acting Director, Africa CDC

Webinar Recordings

One year on: What have we learned since news of COVID-19 first broke?
Health business investment in Africa
Africa’s readiness for the COVID-19 vaccination drive
The future of health: Unlocking the potential of Artificial Intelligence for healthcare in Africa
Healthcare Policy Harmonisation and Collaboration amongst Governments-A strategy Towards Sustainable Development in Africa
NCDs: An Urgent Call for Primary Health Care System Strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa