The CPHIA Conference 2022

By Delafrida Ukaga

If we want to respond quickly, we must own the tools of response” – Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma 

The second International Conference on Public Health in Africa (CPHIA) held in Kigali between 13-15th December 2022 with official side events on 12th December 2022. The theme of the event was Preparedness for future pandemic and post-pandemic recovery: Africa at a crossroads. 

It provided a unique platform for African researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders to come together and share perspectives and research findings in public health. It served as a catalyst to build more resilient health systems that allow African countries to better prepare for and manage emerging health threats while also addressing long-standing infectious diseases.   

Lessons learned  
  • To increase local production in Africa, the continent must produce its medicines and vaccines 
  • COVID-19 pandemic accelerated digitalisation of the public health communications, surveillance, diagnosis, and care delivery. 
  • For the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and response, Africa must develop and produce its own vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics. Also, engagement in Africa- led partnerships with external actors can help accelerate pandemic preparedness. 
  • Digitalisation of the health sector can help strengthen health systems for equitable and universal health coverage in Africa. Also, high-level political commitment, investment and the private sector are crucial to safeguarding gains made and furthering universal health coverage across the continent. 
  • Equity can only be achieved through an intersectional lens-considering gender, disability, and other factors to include women in health from being recipients to providers 
  • To improve public health, we need intentional partnerships between academia, grant-making organizations, government, communities, and the private sector. 
  • Africa is grappling with a double burden of disease – longstanding diseases like malaria remain while the burden of non-communicable disease is growing. 
  • Innovation in health service delivery such as a holistic approach to care and telemedicine can help prevent setbacks in the next health emergency. 
  • Investment is needed for a new public health order.
  • Building trust in the community is necessary to achieve health goals. 
Future programming 
  • In 2023, Africa CDC will launch a new digital strategy for Africa: Digitalisation enables faster data sharing and healthcare delivery.
  • There is low availability of mental health providers on the continent making mental health, a sector that needs urgent intervention and programming. 
  • Africa currently imports 90% of the therapeutics and vaccines it needs, this makes vaccination, an important health discovery that needs intervention in Africa. Therefore, Africa must strengthen its Manufacturing capacity. 
Delafrida Ukaga (SFHNigeria representative) and other participants at the CPHIA conference 2022