1st Webinar Series

As Africa adapts to a new normal, partnerships in over-stretched health systems will continue to play an important role. The AHBS webinar series, themed “Partnerships for COVID-19” consisted of five sessions discussing key opportunities that are at the center of change.

Partnerships for COVID-19 in Africa

AHBS Nairobi

Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 will require implementing a containment strategy based on a massive scale- up of testing across the continent. Success, however, cannot be measured solely
in terms of mitigating the number of deaths
per positive cases. The knock-on impact of COVID-19 on other aspects of health (including TB, AIDs, and malaria, as well as maternal health, immunization rates, and so on) could results in the progress and gains of the past decade being washed away, potentially surpassing the direct negative impact of the COVID-19 virus itself. The AHBS 1st webinar series consisted of five sessions discussing how partnerships can mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on Africa’s Health Systems.

Webinar Series Calendar

High Level Roundtable: Protecting Africa - Lives and Economies During COVID-19

July 15th, 2020

There are so many variables, and it’s difficult to predict outcomes, but protecting lives and mitigating negative impacts on the continent is a priority for every government, ministries of health, global health leaders, and health institutions. At this roundtable session we are proud to host partners from both public and private sectors to provide information on how we can be united in combatting our common enemy, COVID-19.

"You have to balance between the economic situation in the country versus the health situation. Most people have to go out on a daily basis to support their families."​
Hon. Wilhelmina Jhalla
Minister of Health, Liberia
"Humanity is faced with an unprecedented health crisis. And that requires unprecedented solutions, as well as unprecedented solidarity"
John Nkengasong
John Nkengasong
Director, Africa CDC
"If Africa starts losing its health workers, which are too few already, the entire system will struggle and that will have an impact, not on COVID19 but on all the other diseases."
Peter Sands
Executive Director, The Global Fund

Digital Health Session

Since the turn of the century, the continent has witnessed a rising number of private investments in digital health and innovation with a huge potential for scaling up to deliver greater impact. The current pandemic underscores the importance of technology. This can curb the spread of the disease where both the public and private sector through collaboration can improve healthcare by leveraging innovations in digital health. 

July 17th, 2020
Session Speakers
"The world has already experienced inequalities in regards to access to health, and Africa bears a disproportionate burden with regards to disease and health outcomes. This provides opportunities for new and unique approaches."​
Ademola Olajide
Country Representative Kenya, UNFPA
"Critical to UHC is gaining trust. If you think about moving from post-payment to pre-payment, it means being prepared so you’re not caught by surprise. Digital technology offers exciting possible solution for this."
Nicole Spieker
Director East Africa, PharmAccess Group

Manufacturing & Supply Chain Session

COVID-19 has resulted in unprecedented disruption of global and local supply chains and manufacturing, causing interruptions in the supply of both pharma and medical supplies. The current pandemic presents us with an opportunity to reflect and reassess our traditional systems, such as production and supply chain moving closer to local demand. This shift comes with a chance to adapt and improve defining ‘the new normal’ beyond COVID-19 and how they contribute to building resilient, innovative healthcare systems.
July 24th, 2020
Session Speakers
"The WHO has been very encouraged by the willingness of the private sector to play a part in addressing this pandemic. COVID19 has provided an opportunity for further collaboration between private and public sectors and we need to continue building on this."​
Matshidiso Moeti
Regional Director Africa, WHO
"We cannot currently ensure full and proper cold chain transportation across the African continent. We need to have freight capacity that is in Africa and that is serving Africa. We need to stop discussing and move to actually solving the complexities of these challenges. "
Karim Bendahou
Head Africa Bureau, Merck

High Level Roundtable: Preparing Africa - What next after the COVID-19 surge?

July 29th, 2020

Every ministry of health and global health leader is thinking about what we need to do today to have a better tomorrow. What we do in the next three months in Africa will predict the long-term impact of the pandemic. The rate at which COVID-19 is spreading in Africa is alarming. In some ways, though, we are lucky because we are at the tail end of the global transmission chain and have had time to learn how to slow the virus. There are, of course, challenges in public-private partnership, but we have a common enemy and we want to continue strengthening collaboration. Solidarity needs to spread across Africa, not only between public and private sectors at the national level, but partnerships across borders.

"By sharing any mistakes and challenges we face, we can help other countries to not go through the same things."
Hon. Zweli Mkhize
Minister of Health, South Africa
"The pandemic is more than a health crisis; it has affected societies and economies at the core, including a lack of progress toward the SDGs. "​
Thokozile Ruzvidzo
Director, Social Development Policy Division, UNECA
"In order to weather this pandemic, there are several best practices we can build on. Collaboration and a multi-sectoral approach is essential."
Alexandre Tiendrebeogo
Acting Director for Universal Health Coverage/Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases Cluster, WHO

Testing, Tracking & Treating Session

We have not had a better opportunity in Africa before now to cement our efforts on testing, tracking and treating. We have had significant learning since the start of the outbreak of the virus and we need to capitalize on this and continue learning in order to move forward. On 14th February 2020, Africa had its first COVID-19 case. As of today, we are at almost 1 million cases. It is alarming to see the way the number of cases are accelerating, but we don’t need to panic. Instead of the flight approach, Africa needs to take the fight approach.
July 31st, 2020
Session Speakers
"As we move ahead as a continent, we need to avoid haphazard interventions, in order to avoid damaging crises. "
Amit Photo-01
Amit N. Thakker
Executive Chairman, Africa Health Business
"We need to apply innovation in order to adapt our hospitals so they can continue addressing COVID-19 without disrupting existing services."
John Nkengasong
John Nkengasong
Director, Africa CDC
"This is the time to think about public-private partnerships. It’s one thing to have access to solutions and another thing to actually carry them out."
Rukina Gadde
Renuka Gadde
Vice President Global Health, BD

Infrastructure & Equipment Session

Africa is home to 1.3 billion of the world’s population and bares 1/3 of the global disease burden, yet accounts for only 3% of the global health workforce.The average physician density in subsaharan Africa stands at 2 doctors per 10,000 people.There is therefore a huge health infrastructure gap on the continent.
August 7th, 2020
Session Speakers
"Enough evidence has shown that investment in health infrastructure creates an avenue for resilient societies and drives inclusive growth. "
Babatunde Omilola
Manager Public Health Security & Nutrition, Africa Development Bank
"We encourage everyone who is involved in the decision making process to consider the long term perspective and bigger picture in their purchases."
Jitka Stranska
General Manager Middle East & Africa, Linet
"Our end goal is to have an effective, affordable and sustainable deployment system for medical devices."
Steve Adudans
CEO, Mediquip Global

Financing Models Session

Finance is absolutely critical for the health sector. However, there is an absence of financial strategies within most Ministries of health within the African continent.There is non the less a lot of discussion on national health strategies that are unfinished and never get to the implementation stage.
August 14th, 2020
Session Speakers
"The biggest expenditure in the health sector in Africa is out of pocket expenditure. "
Khama Rogo
Founder, Africa Institute for Health Transformation
"We cannot underestimate how severely under-financed the Africa health sector system was before COVID."
Justine Coulson
Justine Coulson
Deputy Regional Director, East and Southern Africa, UNFPA
"Africa can leverage technology to build low cost healthcare models. "
Philippe Francois
Global Head of Life and Health International Reinsurance Business Development, AXA

Webinar Session Recordings

Digital Health Webinar
Manufacturing and Supply Chain Webinar
Testing, Tracking and Treating Webinar
Infrastructure and Equipment Webinar
Financing Models Webinar