- What are the key priorities for the healthcare sector and what measures should be implemented?
- HIV and AIDS treatment and prevention still needs support and funding
- access to health (a) getting facilities closer to the people if not, provide access through roads and transport mechanisms. Many patients have to leave their homes very early in the morning to get to clinics and hospitals for consultations or medicines.
(b)getting health workers to the facilities up to specialists
(c) funding for the facilities
(d) medical aid/insurance to pay for private health services
(e) making medicines for chronic illnesses available i.e. more centers for collection. The use of drones to deliver medicines even to a central point near villages or rural areas for collection by patients. These collection points should be safe and have codes to enable safety and prevent thefts. Patients can use collection boxes even at hospitals for their monthly medicines without having to wait for hours.
(f) strengthen primary health care. Primary Health is the basis of health care and plays an important role in curative and preventative medicine. Management of the primary health care facility is very important but often lacks support and finance for equipment. The use of Telemedicine could be very effective in rendering quality, effective and efficient healthcare to the patients.
- Reduce mother and child mortality through effective monitoring and management of patients and referrals where deemed necessary to the correct level of care.
- Could you share with us what sort of initiatives should be addressed to develop the healthcare sector across the continent?
- There are a few health facilities in the continent: Increase the number of hospitals/ build the structures, fund the training of the medical personnel and raise funds to run the facilities and pay salaries.
- Formulate multiple methods of funding for different levels of wealth.
- School Health System has to be initiated to educate the younger population and instill a “change of mindset” resulting in an increase of people who will seek medical help early thus leading to the prevention of diseases.
- Community involvement in sharing and dissemination of information regularly.
- What are the challenges faced and the priorities in place for the Health sector?
- African Countries have different challenges and different priorities. Each country faces its challenges differently, but it adds up to basic healthcare services that are accessible, affordable and effective to all.
- Within the same country there is vast inequality in access to healthcare, poorer individuals tend to forego quality and much-needed healthcare.
- Rural hospitals lack Doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers. In South Africa, there is enforced community service that forces young Doctors and Health Workers to work in peripheral hospitals to increase access to health, but without the necessary equipment and support it could be challenging. Telemedicine could alleviate the problem and offer specialist support to the health teams in rural areas.
- For you, what are the outcomes of the Africa PPP Virtual Conference?
- It was successful bearing in mind that some participants had never experienced a virtual conference and could participate successfully.
- Participants had the option to network throughout the conference and that made a huge difference and comments/chats were available at all times.
- The sessions were a bit short because presenters wanted to share more and were not accustomed to the timeframes, but, having said that, the phrase “make me feel something” is something one needs to try and develop virtually. Once we can achieve that, I think the audience will be very comfortable with virtual presentations.
- On your opinion, how is the Africa PPP event helping the Health sector?
- The Africa PPP has provided a platform to share healthcare needs, challenges and possible collaboration between African Countries. It has opened the floor for participation and sharing experience within the continent, also sharing experience where healthcare could play a role in other sectors, e.g. Roads where healthcare facilities could be incorporated in those projects to produce accessible and affordable infrastructures linked to the roads and infrastructures to service a community/area in future.
- Not many people have thought about this option where one could integrate several aspects of service delivery within the scope of the larger project. The problem will be how to structure it because each sector is defined only to its purpose/role to fulfill. This could be a game changer if achieved!