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.
- 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.
- 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.