The Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has said that for an effective health system to be implemented and achieved at a country level there is need for it to deliver a well stewarded, coordinated and integrated programs.
The Prime Minister made the remarks while opening the 3rd African Health Systems Governance Congress (ASHGOVNET) at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala on Monday.
The 3- day congress was organised under the theme “Fostering Capacity for Health Governance and Leadership with a focus upon Health Workforce Development” and it is aimed at reviewing the status of the Human Resources for Health (HRH) crisis in Africa.
PM Rugunda (seated middle) poses for a group photo with some of the members who attended the congress (Photo by PMPU)
The congress is also carrying out an in-depth analysis of the systems governance topics which were subjects of email and internet debates with a view of making recommendations for action.
They will also discuss approaches to strengthening the impact of ASHGOVNET in the light of the roll out of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Health Strategy 2016.
Dr Rugunda commended the organisers of ASHGOVNET for their initiative and efforts, adding that the conference will offer practical solutions to the health issues that affect Africa.
“Strengthening of health systems is therefore a priority in global and national health policy and practice because a gap remains between knowing what can be done to make a difference in the health of individuals and populations and the actual implementation to achieve the maximum positive impact of global and national initiatives,” the Premier said.
The Prime Minister stressed that Africa still faces a number of problems in the health sector including the prevailing inequity between the poor and rich countries in accessing health care which is further worsened by resource constraints among the poor countries.
He also said that Africa still faces a burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases such as malaria and diabetes mellitus respectively and thus called upon ASHGOVNET to support Africa and the rest of the world in solving these health problems by highlighting the critical importance of strong government stewardship of all actors in the area of health.
“The health care delivery systems in Africa have to address these dual epidemics of infectious and non- communicable chronic diseases. Unlike in the richer countries, we in Africa also face resource constraints,” said the Premier adding that our population growth rates are high with large dependent populations and high poverty levels which deters our steady economic growth.
Dr Rugunda also called upon everyone to make a solid effort towards contributing to the health sector by working towards improving the delivery of quality services to the people.
The African Health System Governance Network (ASHGOVNET) was created in 2009 by an assembly of eminent African health systems leaders and experts as part of the recommendations of a study “Strong Ministries from Strong Health Systems” with the aim of strengthening stewardship and governance roles and capacities of ministers of health.
ASHGOVNET membership comprises of high- level decision makers from country level, academia, civil society eminent persons and multi-disciplinary health systems experts from partner networks.
The conference will end on Wednesday with discussions regarding how to address health workforce capacity issues.
BY DOREEN NASASIRA