About the Forum 2022
The African continent was the least affected by the coronavirus pandemic. However, the latter has exposed the weaknesses of its health system in terms of lack of preparedness, response, and above all health and economic resilience. This risks undermining all the efforts that have been made in the framework of strengthening the health system to move towards universal health coverage by 2030.
As a matter fact, Promoting and Protecting health is essential for human well-being and sustainable economic and social development. This was recognized more than 40 years ago by the signatories of the Alma Ata Declaration, which stated that Health for All would contribute to a better qualitý of life as well as to peace and securitý on a global scale. According to the WHO, universal health coverage can be defined as “ensuring that all people [in a country] have access to needed health services (including prevention, promotion, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliation) of sufficient quality to be effective while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user the financial hardship”. This definition encompasses three specific policy goals: (i) equity in the use of health services (Demand Pillar); (ii) quality of care (Supply Pillar) and (iii) financial protection.
While it is true that no country is able to fully achieve all three of the “UHC goals”, everyone is striving to make progress by working towards those goals. “Moving towards the UHC” is a goal that is relevant to all, and can be used to define the direction in which reforms should be made to improve the health system. But in recognizing this, the Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO) committed themselves in 2005 to developing their health financing systems so that everyone can have access to services without financial hardship when paying for them. It is on the basis of contributing to the efforts of strengthening the health system that this year’s Galien Forum Africa focuses on “Accelerating Africa’s move toward Universal Health Coverage” as the central theme.
GOAL OF THE FORUM
Since the first edition in 2018, the Galien Forum Africa has been working to strengthen research and sustainable development by sharing experiences in the face of major public health issues. Indeed, the Galien Forum Africa offers a platform for high-level scientific exchanges on issues of common interest, on the health priorities of our continent. It is an opportunity to share lessons learned, to discuss challenges and perspectives.
THEME AND SUB-THEMES
Covering the central theme “Accelerating Africa’s move toward Universal Health Coverage”, the following sub-themes will be addressed in accordance with the three pillars of the UHC:
In the context of the “demand” pillar of the UHC, equity in the use of services is defined as reducing the gap between the need for health services and their use. Individuals must be aware of their need for health services, as well as their ability to make use of the services they need. In this context, the issue of respect for patients' rights in Africa will be addressed.
In the framework of the “Supply” pillar of the UHC, quality of care is defined as the extent to which health services achieve desired health outcomes or improve the health status of populations. Quality health care requires effective health interventions delivered by technically competent staff, but also a professional and empathetic interaction between health workers and patients. The coronavirus pandemic has shown many shortcomings in this framework in the African health system. The following sub-themes will be discussed:
- (i) the challenge of quality of care in Africa;
- (ii) the problem of managing communicable diseases, non-communicable diseases and neglected tropical diseases;
- (iii) the resilience of the African health system in the face of health emergencies; and
- (iv) the place of digital health in health innovations.
Financial protection refers to the financing of health services that protects individuals and households from ruin or adverse effects on their living conditions resulting from payments for health care. These consequences are usually, and only necessarily, due to direct payments that the user has to make out of his or her own pocket. Equity of financing is closely related to the objective of financial protection while being a separate concept. It is understood as the distribution of the burden of financing the health system among different socio-economic groups. To be fair, the burden of financing must be distributed according to individual ability to pay. In this forum, the following sub-themes will be addressed:
- (i) economic resilience and
- (ii) health financing in all its dimensions (collection, pooling and purchasing of benefits).
CONDUCT OF THE FORUM AGENDA
Due to the pandemic at Covid 19, the organization will be carried out in a hybrid way (face-to-face and virtual):
- (i) the youth forum, the women’s forum and the scientific forum, where international experts will speak on the subject, will be held face-to-face and will also be available online (webinars). Interaction between the virtual participants and those present will be easy. There will also be time for questions and answers from the audience.
- (ii) the Prix Galien Africa 2022 award ceremony will be held in face-to-face mode.
Key events will be reported on YouTube and through social networks.
For the 2022 edition, more than 3000 participants are expected from all over the world. Nobel Prize winners, political leaders, experts, researchers, students, community leaders, doctors, social anthropologists, biologists, innovators, investors, international organizations, civil society, private sector, etc.