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Translating Policy to Practice: Addressing the Challenges of Health Systems in Africa

Despite improvements in health indicators, Africa still lags behind in the aspirations set out in Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. What are the challenges facing health systems in Africa? How can the challenges be tackled to improve health and prolong lives? Is it the lack of good policies or lack of proper implementation? This panel discussion invites the panelists and audience to explore these challenges and propose possible strategies.

MODERATOR

Kojo-Nimako

Kojo Nimako
Doctor of Public Health Candidate
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Kojo Twum Nimako is a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Candidate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, specializing in Health Systems Strengthening and Healthcare Quality Improvement. Prior to Harvard, he practiced as a physician in Ghana and served as the Executive Director of the health non-profit Helping Hand Medical Outreach, which he co-founded with his wife in 2014.

Kojo was a consultant for the World Bank Group on its Front Lines First project, which documented health systems innovations across low-, middle- and high-income countries over the last two decades. The report of this work was presented to policy makers at the Primary Health Care Conference in Astana, Kazakhstan in October 2018. He has also consulted with the Ministry of Health of Ghana as well as other healthcare organizations across the African Continent.

Kojo is currently working on Service Delivery Redesign for maternal and neonatal healthcare quality improvement with the Lancet Commission on High Quality Health Systems in the SDG Era.

Kojo holds a Medical Degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and a Master of Public Health degree from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is a recipient of the prestigious Top 30 Under 30 Ghanaian Pioneers Award for 2016 and has been awarded several fellowships, including the John C. and Katherine Vogelheim Hansen Research and Travel Fund for Africa in 2018 and 2019. Kojo is married and has two children.”

PANELISTS

Dr. Victor Bampoe

Dr. Victor Bampoe
Coordinator, Global Financing & Technical Support Cluster, UNAIDS HQ,
UNAIDS

“Dr Victor Bampoe is a Director and Special Adviser at the UN Joint Program for AIDS (UNAIDS) Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where he coordinates the Global Financing and Technical Support cluster.  He has been with UNAIDS since May 2017. A former Deputy Minister of Health in Ghana, Victor was the Incident Commander for Ghana’s Emergency Operations Centre that prepares for and responds to public health emergencies, including Ebola. He served in this role from July 2014 to 6th January 2017.  In the first role (Deputy Minister), Victor was partly responsible (with the Minister of Health) for overseeing a health sector that caters to at least 27 million people, with an annual budget of over US$ 1 Billion and more than 50,000 health workers. As Incident Commander for Ghana’s Emergency Operations Center, he was responsible for putting in place Ghana’s response to all public health emergencies, including Ebola, Yellow Fever, Lassa Fever, Zika etc.

Before being appointed by ex-President John Mahama to be Deputy Minister in Ghana, he served for ten years in various capacities at the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, including as Senior Fund Portfolio Manager in Geneva, Switzerland. In this role, Victor was responsible for managing grants to fight the three diseases in South Africa, with a total value of over $ 800 million. Before he took up this role, Victor worked with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) as a Regional Health and HIV adviser in West Africa, and before that, as a Medical Officer with the Ministry of Health in Ghana.

Dr Bampoe is a medical doctor by training, with a specialization in Public Health obtained at the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, USA. He is married with two children

Zikho Pali

Zikho Pali Ms
Quro Medical

Soji Akinlabi, currently a Harvard Nieman Fellow; With over 7 years in the Africa media industry. He is the lead producer and CEO of Africa Business Radio, an independently owned Johannesburg-based digital radio station that focuses on providing insights into the business landscape across the continent. He reports on how entrepreneurship, policy and technology are shaping the industrialization of Africa.

Zikho Pali is an LLM. candidate at Harvard Law School. Prior to coming to Harvard, she practiced as an attorney for several years and worked for Bowmans South Africa (previously Bowman Gilfillan.Inc), one of the largest law firms in Africa. During this period, she was nominated and appointed by the provincial government as the youngest serving board member at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, the largest hospital in Africa and the third largest in the world. She is currently one of the Co-founders and Vice President of Quro Medical, a private company that is incorporated in South Africa. Quro medical combines the use of technology, mid-level healthcare professionals and specialist oversight to deliver an affordable, quality at-home medical healthcare service.

Soji Akinlabi

Soji Akinlabi
Lead Producer/Founder
Africa Business Radio

PANEL DIRECTOR: ANULOWA ISHOLA

Soji Akinlabi, currently a Harvard Nieman Fellow; With over 7 years in the Africa media industry. He is the lead producer and CEO of Africa Business Radio, an independently owned Johannesburg-based digital radio station that focuses on providing insights into the business landscape across the continent. He reports on how entrepreneurship, policy and technology are shaping the industrialization of Africa.

Dr.-Joia-Mukherjee

Dr. Joia Mukherjee
Chief Medical Officer of Partners In Health (PIH)
Partners in Health

PANEL DIRECTOR: ANULOWA ISHOLA

Joia Mukherjee MD, MPH is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Chief Medical Officer of Partners In Health (PIH), an international medical charity dedicated to providing a preferential option for the poor in healthcare. She is an internist, a pediatrician, an infectious disease doctor and public health specialist. Dr. Mukherjee has been supporting PIH’s efforts to provide high quality, comprehensive health care to the poorest in partnership with local communities and health officials in Haiti, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Peru, Mexico, Russia, Kazakhstan and the Navajo Nation. Dr. Mukherjee’s clinical foci include HIV, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, mental health, Ebola, human resources for health, and health systems strengthening. She also teaches Global Health Delivery, social medicine, infectious disease and human rights to medical students, residents and fellows at a wide variety of US and international institutions. She has helped create a new residency and fellowship training program for Rwandan and Haitian physicians as well as global health residencies and fellowships for US trainees at Harvard and other American universities.

PANEL DIRECTOR : ISAAC KOFI ACQUAH