The first World Health Summit Regional Meeting to take place in Africa will be hosted by Makerere University in Kampala from the 27th to 28th April 2020. This was revealed by Prof. Charles Ibingira, Principal of the College of Health Sciences of Makerere University while paying a courtesy call on the Uganda Embassy in Berlin. He was accompanied to the meeting by Dr. Charles Batte, Secretariat Director, Dr. Jörg Heldmann, Managing Director, World Health Summit Foundation GmbH and Ms Nora Anton, Director, International Cooperation, World Health Summit Foundation GmbH.
Prof. Ibingira, who is also the 2020 International President of the World Health Summit, was meeting Mr. Fred Moses Mukhooli, Counsellor at the Uganda Embassy, whom he briefed about the on-going preparations for hosting the World Health Summit 2019 and the World Health Summit Regional Meeting 2020.
Prof. Ibingira expressed his delight in Uganda’s hosting of such a significant meeting and pointed out the health rewards that would accrue from such. He said that Uganda being the only African member of the M8 Alliance was setting a fantastic precedence for the rest of Africa. The M8 Alliance is a unique network of 25 leading international academic health centres, universities, and research institutions, and includes the InterAcademy Partnership, which represents all national academies of medicine and science. The M8 Alliance acts as an academic think-tank for the World Health Summit.
“Although the health problems that affect us are universal – affecting people even in the developed world, it is important to acknowledge that Africa still has a long way to go in formulating and implementing better health policies for the benefit of its people. This makes a gathering like the 2020 Regional Meeting so crucial, with over 2,000 health professionals and other stakeholders in government and the private sector coming together to exchange knowledge and ideas on how to invest better in health and maximize that to create wealth for our nations. It is a no-brainer that no nation can make steady economic progress when its people are dying and battling poor health,” he added.
He was optimistic that the meeting would stir its participants to think better and work harder to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, all of which pertain to health, whether directly or indirectly.
Mr. Mukhooli, who was representing Ambassador Marcel Tibaleka, welcomed Prof. Ibingira to the Embassy and congratulated him, Makerere University and Uganda upon hosting the World Health Summit Regional Meeting 2020. He added that it would be a great honour for Africa and Uganda in particular to host the World Health Summit Regional Meeting for the very first time and this would not only put Africa in the limelight but would be a great opportunity for the world to focus on her health, learn from her successes, and lay strategies for future collaborations.
The meeting agreed that the 2020 World Health Summit Regional Meeting was very important considering that thousands of global health experts and other stakeholders in government, academia, business and the private sector would converge to share notes and experiences, and make recommendations that policymakers can adopt and implement for the well-being of all.
The central themes of the Regional Meeting 2020 are in line with the African journey towards meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals and achieving universal health coverage.