The President and the First Lady arriving at the opening ceremony of the summit last evening. Courtesy Photos from PPU
Nelson Kiva
Journalist @New Vision

Over 200 global health experts are scheduled to spend the next three days discussing the leading questions on Covid-19 pandemic during the World Health Summit Regional Meeting in Africa.

The meeting, set to run upto June 30,  was opened last evening  (Sunday June 27) by President Yoweri Museveni at Speak Resort Munyonyo in Kampala.

Hosted by Makerere University together with the Government of Uganda, the virtual summit is scheduled to agree the Kampala Accord on Covid-19 after extensive deliberations on the global health challenge which has interrupted the global economies.

According to the summit organizing committee led by the education ministry permanent secretary, Alex Kakooza, the 231 national, regional and international experts who will among others include the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and the health minister of Germany, Jens Spahn, will discuss issues to do with vaccine equity, pandemic preparedness, the different Covid varriants and how to maintain health care and financing for the other diseases despite the presence of Covid-19.

This comes amidst a global challenge of vaccine nationalization, which has resulted into countries more especially the poor ones running out of vaccines as the global powers cater for their populations first.

Recently the US President, Joe Biden led the global powers under the G7 to denounce vaccines’ nationalization.

The major industrial nations at the G7 summit in Cornwall, UK pledged one billion Covid vaccine doses to poor countries to aid vaccination of the whole world.

Therefore, the Kampala discussions according to Dr. Bruce Kalenga, who is part of the organizing committee, will pick-up from action points set by among others the recent G7 summit to broadly discuss Covid interventions.

Guests at the World Health Summit opening ceremony last evening

Guests at the World Health Summit opening ceremony last evening


“On the Panel discussions we have put together a group of experts on a topic and they will discuss openly and interact with the public. We have the workshops which will present original research cutting end evidence,” he said.

The conference will also discuss non-communicable diseases, other infectious diseases such as Ebola, HIV and TB. “We shall also have sessions focused on women and youth health,” he added.

Other critical issues such as Universal Health Coverage, global health security and health in Africa, inter-sectoral action for health and advancing technology for health in Africa will also be discussed.

Prof.Charles Ibingira, the international president of the World Health Summit 2021 said the summit which will run from June 27-30 under the theme; “Africa’s Journey towards Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage Amidst the Global COVID-19 Pandemic,” will officially be flagged-off by President Yoweri Museveni on Sunday and over 3000 participants are scheduled to attend virtually.

“Due to COVID-19 and the recent developments in Uganda, the whole programme will take place online with cost-free participation. All keynote sessions, panel discussions, and workshops will be broadcast live,” Ibingira said.

Makerere University was in 2019 granted the rights to host the summit scheduled for April 2020 but was postponed to the coronavirus pandemic.

The summit organizing chairperson, Kakooza told the Media earlier, that a lot was expected from the summit, which is the first of its kind in Africa.

“We expect the summit of this size will increase knowledge on the key health challenges that face Africa discussed in Africa,” he said.

The summit according to Kakooza will also generate policy oriented action points for implementation and further discussion by the ministries of health.

“It will also bring attention to the main health challenges of Africa on top of helping scientists collabrations and partnerships,” he said.

The summit according to Dr Muhammad Kiggundu, who is charged with the publicity of the summit, will also attract exhibition of different health technologies and knowledge. Exhibitors, Kiggundu said will be regulated not to breach the anti-Covid-19 protocols.


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