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Unlocking the Potential for Health Care Students to Address UHC

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Students from private and public universities around Kenya, Nigeria and East Africa today gathered at United States International University – Africa (USIU), to attend the first ever Kenya Healthcare Students’ Summit (KEHSS).

The conference is jointly organised by the Kenya Healthcare Students’ Summit (KEHSS) in partnership with Amref Health Africa through the Youth in Action (Y-Act) and the Children Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) funded Universal Health Coverage projects among other partners.

Convened under the theme ‘Towards a Multidisciplinary Approach for the Achievement of Universal Health Coverage,’ the two-day forum will serve as an inaugural platform for young health care students to engage decision makers and other stakeholders in the field of health to create the first cohort of ‘UHC champions.’

The conference was officially opened by Amref Health Africa Group CEO Dr Githinji Gitahi who is also the Co- Chair of the UHC2030 Steering Committee.

In his opening remarks, Dr Gitahi noted that UHC is not an academic topic discussed in technical language, but rather a social justice construction where those who have little in life deserve more in life.

Addressing the young delegates Dr Githinji said,

“UHC is not about how many people can afford health care, but is about the number that cannot afford health care. UHC is therefore   about equity and not about equality. It is about giving more to those who do not have and providing protection to those who have little.’’

“Health is the most fundamental human right. Health is not a privilege to a few but a right to all. It is the coverage of essential health services among the most disadvantaged populations,’’ he added.

“UHC is not just about providing health care, it is providing quality health services,” said Prof. Gilbert Kokwaro, Chair of the panel for the development of Kenya’s UHC benefits package.

Prof. Kokwaro further called on the youth to be leaders, stating

“a leader is someone who is given stewardship over four assets: people capital, processes and information.”

He further stated that the job description of health workers is to add value to all of the four assets.

“UHC envisages that all citizens have access to the quality health services that they deserve, when and where they may want to access them, without falling into financial catastrophe. Quality health services are ‘STEEEP’ meaning Safe, Timely, Effective, Efficient, Equitable and People centred,” he noted.

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The conference will also provide a supportive space for young health workers to meet and discuss key priority areas with policy and decision makers and engage them on issues that the normal classroom environment may not touch on.

These session would focus on key policy areas that affect our health care system namely: Universal Health Coverage, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.

Dr Mercy Korir, a health journalist at the Standard Media Group highlighted the role of health workers in UHC urging the students to have a cohesive relationship with different people in different health sector fields.

‘Young people are the future of this country. We grow up in health systems where nurses seem to be undermined by the doctors. If we want to achieve UHC, we must have a cohesive relationship with everyone, and see each as an asset in the health system. We have to change the look of health care and see it holistically and treat health as a human right,” she said.

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Other notable speakers are Dr Christine Sadia, Chair of the Kenya Medical Women’s Association (KMWA), Dr Amit N Thakker, chairman of Africa Health Business Limited, Dr Jacqueline Kitulu, president of the Kenya Medical Association, Dr Sylvia Opanga, a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s School of Pharmacy, Erick Venant, Founder and CEO at Roll Bank Antimicrobial Resistance Initiative and  Dr Elizabeth Wala, Director of Amref Health Africa in Kenya’s Health System Strengthening Programme among others.

 

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Amref Health Africa Kenya Partners with Sisu Global Health and Surgipharm to improve access to blood

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Nairobi, Kenya, 17 September 2019 – Amref Health Africa in Kenya, Sisu Global Health and Surgipharm have today unveiled a partnership to improve access to blood and safer surgical outcomes during medical missions and emergencies in Kenya.

The partnership is aimed at increasing blood access in all hospitals to reduce internal bleeding-related deaths through the adoption of HemafuseTM, an innovative medical device that allows clinicians to reuse a patient’s own blood gathered from internal bleeding.

This initiative comes in the wake of the recent move by the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to stop its annual funding of KShs2 billion for blood collection and testing services in Kenya. This development comes at a time when the country is facing a chronic shortage of blood as the collection of blood has been plagued by the lack of funds for screening tools and human resources to collect and store blood.

“Blood access is critical to safe surgery. Standard surgical practices require two units of blood on-hand before surgery commences, but there is a severe shortage of blood in the country. Surgeries may be delayed or not performed due to a lack of blood, resulting in increased illness and death. This partnership will make use of an innovative solution that will ensure that patients with internal bleeding have a chance of survival,” said Amref Health Africa in Kenya’s Country Director, Dr Meshack Ndirangu.

HemafuseTM, a product by Sisu Global Health, can filter and pump blood from an internal haemorrhage into a blood bag, allowing it to be re-transfused to the same patient. The device can also be reused up to 25 times. This provides an alternative to donor blood.

“It is inspiring to see Hemafuse used to save lives. With this partnership with Kenya, we look forward to enabling thousands of more clinicians to save more lives across the country. The work we are doing is incredibly important and we are proud to have such a strong partnership with Amref to provide access to blood across Kenya,” said Sajju Jain, Chief Operating Officer at Sisu Global Health.

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Speaking at the event, Mr Rakesh Vinayak, Director-Sales & Marketing at Surgipharm, said that the pharmaceutical industry has a critical role to play in finding effective and sustainable solutions to providing access to today’s most pressing health concerns. “Surgipharm has a highly specialised and experienced management team and our relationships with different players in Kenya’s health sector complements and strengthens our existing skill set in logistics across the country. We are excited about the prospects that this partnership brings.”

Amref Health Africa

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Memfys Hospital and GE Healthcare Collaborate to Improve Disease Diagnosis for Nigeria’s South-East Regions

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Memfys is the first hospital in South-East Nigeria to install GE Healthcare’s SIGNA™ Explorer 1.5Tesla MRI system

LAGOS, Nigeria, August 29, 2019 – The collaboration will help provide innovative technology to enable early diagnosis and detection of diseases; Memfys is the first hospital in South-East Nigeria to install GE Healthcare’s SIGNA™ Explorer 1.5Tesla MRI system.

GE Healthcare has partnered with Memfys Hospital to provide the SIGNA™ Explorer 1.5Tesla MRI system services and training to advance early diagnosis of diseases. By providing clinicians with detailed information about diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and heart diseases, the new equipment will help the hospital to deliver high quality medical services and better care to more patients across the region.

As the only dedicated Neurosurgery hospital in South-East Nigeria, Memfys Hospital is serving a population of over 60 Million People. Investing in the latest technologies such as the SIGNA™ Explorer 1.5Tesla MRI system will help improve the hospital’s diagnostic capabilities for early detection of diseases and at the same time keep up with global best practices to provide the very best for the country and West Africa region at large.

“As a leader in the neurosurgical space, we are committed to continue providing high quality patient care using modern, high tech and reliable equipment that meets the recommendation by the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies (WFNS). Acquisition of the SIGNA™ Explorer is a huge milestone towards this commitment,” said Professor Samuel C. Ohaegbulam, CEO Global Memfys & Co Ltd.

To ensure sustainability of such investments, Memfys hospital is providing training for both young and experienced doctors embarking on a career in Neurosurgery and Spinal surgery. The hospital is accredited by the West African College of Surgeons (WACS) for full training in neurosurgery making it the only private health institution to enjoy this status in all of Africa. To date, Memfys has trained 20 neurosurgeons and about 10 senior residents.

“We are committed to continue collaborating with both private and public partners to co-create solutions that help tackle pressing healthcare challenges for our region such as Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), as we strive towards Universal Health Coverage. With the SIGNA™ Explorer 1.5Tesla MRI system, the people of South-East Nigeria will not need to leave the region for such specialized services as it has been the practice in the past,” said Eyong Ebai, General Manager for West & Central and French Sub-Sahara Africa Region.

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According to WHO’s 2018 report, NCDS including stroke, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases  and diabetes are estimated to account for 71% of the 57 million global deaths, while in Nigeria NCDs are estimated to account for 29% of all deaths (2.1M). Early diagnosis of diseases such as cancer improves outcomes by providing care at the earliest possible stage.

– GE.

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Egypt denies postponing official launch of health insurance system

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Hala Zayed, Minister of Health Pic: Egypt Today

CAIRO – 29 August 2019: Egypt denied delaying the official launch of the comprehensive health insurance system in Port Said, which is scheduled for the first half of coming Septwmbwe, due to failure of teh pilot phase, according to the cabinet’s media center.

Ministry of Health confirmed that the effective implementation of the system will start in the first half of September, especially after the success of the pilot, the center added in a statement.

Earlier in August, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi called for implementing the health insurance system, taking into consideration the technical, human and medical sides to ensure the good quality of medical services.

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In July, the pilot operation of the comprehensive health insurance system in Port Said governorate started in July.

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said earlier in a press conference that the governorate will be the first to benefit from the new system through 11 general and specialized hospitals and 32 healthcare units.

– Egypt Today 

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