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Every Life Matters: Building and Strengthening Accountability in African Health Systems
8 - 9 March 2018
The Sustainable Development Goals Center for Africa (SDGC/A) conference entitled: Every Life Matters: Building and Strengthening Accountability in African Health Systems was held at Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre, Kigali from 8th to 9th March 2018. The conference convened stakeholders to galvanize greater accountability and call for commitments and actions by all political and government actors and other leaders in the healthcare sector to deliver.
The main purpose of the conference was to commence the discussion on defining the accountability framework necessary to achieve SDG 3 in Africa. Bringing together over 500 delegates from 41 countries in Africa and beyond, the conference was officially launched by Honorable Ambassador Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance of the Republic of Rwanda and featured opening address statements from Dr. Takao Toda (Vice President for Human Security and Global Health, JICA), Ms. Zouera Youssoufou (Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Foundation), and Honorable Dr. Diane Gashumba (Minister of Health for Rwanda).
During the conference, the key stakeholders and partners in health, particularly Ministers of Health, Finance and Justice galvanized greater accountability and call for commitments and actions by all political and government actors and other leaders in the healthcare sector to deliver equitable, safe, affordable and quality health services across Africa. The participants included Ministries of Health, Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministries of Justice; health professionals, and representatives of health associations, councils and research centers in Africa and worldwide.
The Every Life Matters conference galvanized greater accountability and encouraged governments and health professionals to deliver by calling for commitments and actions by all political and government actors and other leaders in the healthcare sector to enact and enforce a standard regulatory system that facilitates and ensures true accountability in the health system. In addition, the meeting encouraged stakeholders to place ethical standards at the center of the quality of care offering and create greater awareness in the public of their inherent human right to health and along with that, the right they have to hold health officials and practitioners, at all levels, accountable.
The opening panel discussion brought together a range of dynamic speakers, health professionals and representatives of African medical networks, councils and research centers to address the ways in which we could build an overarching accountability framework for healthcare that will underpin the transformational change required in the healthcare system throughout Africa by 2030.
Furthermore, the discussions examined how political and government actors as well as leaders in the healthcare sector can enact and enforce a standard regulatory system that facilitates and ensures true accountability in the health system. Moreover, the panel explored how ethical standards can be placed at the center of the quality of care offering and various methods that can be used to create greater awareness in the public of human rights to health and holding health officials and practitioners at all levels accountable in order for health in Africa to reach standards and levels of the rest of the world.
Following the opening panel discussion, three thematic sessions focused on three themes of accountability:
- Building effective accountability framework to ensure optimal functioning of the health systems in Africa
- Engender efficient, strong and long-lasting health accountability mechanisms in Africa using data, research and development.
- Establishing appropriate solutions and other accountability mechanisms to ensure proper functioning of healthcare systems in Africa
Call to Action
The conclusions and resolutions of the conference from participants of Ministries of Health, Ministries of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministries of Justice; health professionals, and representatives of health associations, councils and research centers were adopted into the Call to Action which indicates that it is time for Africa to focus urgently and seriously on building effective, rigorous and responsible health systems with the help of strong and effective partnerships coupled with modern technological advancements. Therefore, the conference was able to address the critical health system issues that are necessary to achieve the SDG Agenda 2030, as well as Africa’s Agenda 2063; as building and strengthening African health system accountability is critical to building the health system required for Africa to meet SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being.
The SDGC/A Commits to provide the technical support to governments of the African Continent in order to follow up on the implementation and realization of the Call to Action, which mainly communicates a call for urgency to focus on building effective and accountable health systems. The Center further commits to working with Government ministries, WHO, the African Union and other stakeholders to establish and adopt a comprehensive Pan African Health System Accountability Action Plan by Mid-2019. The Center is also ready to follow and speed up the process in due course through collaboration with all stakeholders involved in the African healthcare systems.
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