Africa: The WHO Africa Health Forum to Shape Next Steps in Universal Health Care On the Continent

Brazzaville, 13 March 2019 - Global leaders and health experts will come together to identify workable solutions to strengthen African health services, deliver more effective health security, and make significant inroads towards achieving universal health coverage at the continent's seminal health-focused event.

The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa and the Government of Cabo Verde are hosting the second WHO Africa Health Forum in Praia, Cabo Verde from 26-28 March 2019, under the theme of "Achieving Universal Health Coverage and Health Security: The Africa We Want to See."

The objective of the event is to go far beyond dialogue to provide a platform where new partnerships, initiatives and programmes are forged to create meaningful and effective changes that will improve lives by making better healthcare available to all. Key themes will include the link between health security and achieving universal health coverage, multisectoral collaboration, private sector investment, harnessing technological solutions and youth engagement.

"Africa's health challenges have become increasingly complex," said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. "With the continent facing a growing number of outbreaks and the dual challenges of communicable diseases and chronic illnesses, we can't continue with business as usual. This Forum will introduce innovations and kick start new partnerships which will reshape how we practice health."

The conference is taking place in Cabo Verde which has made huge strides in health since it became independent in 1975. The country has introduced innovations such as telemedicine and brought primary care to within 30 minutes of 80% of the population.

"Africa faces a number of healthcare priorities and challenges resulting from epidemics and droughts, poor sanitation, lack of clean drinking water, insufficient numbers of trained medics and scarcity of access to affordable healthcare," says Arlindo do Rosário, Minister for Health and Social Security in Cabo Verde. "While delegates will be conscious of the financial constraints facing many African countries, we look forward to the Forums' insights on the intricacies of health care in Africa and the actions and solutions to create the policies and pan-African collaboration necessary to reach Africa's goal of universal health coverage and health security."

Confirmed speakers include:

- Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

- H.E. Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, President of Cabo Verde

- H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, Former President of Tanzania

- Dr Amit Thakker, Executive Chairman of the Africa Healthcare Federation and the Africa Health Business

- Zeinab Badawi, International broadcaster and Chair of the Royal African Society

For more information, please visit

WHO | Africa Region

The World Health Organization contributes to a better future for people everywhere. Good health lays the foundation for vibrant and productive communities, stronger economies, safer nations and a better world. As the lead health authority within the United Nations system, our work touches people's lives around the world every day. In Africa, WHO serves 47 Member States and works with development partners to improve the health and well-being of all people living here. The WHO Regional Office for Africa is located in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

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