By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Health experts, policymakers, leading diagnostics equipment manufacturer – Roche Diagnostics and other stakeholders in the health sector recently came together to deliberate on achieving Universal Health Coverage, improving access to healthcare for people and the importance of quality systems.
At the Pandemic Response Conference organized by Africa Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) in Abuja, Roche Diagnostics hosted an interactive session on Health Systems Strengthening in collaboration with the World Bank, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and Kenya Medical Research Institute.
Roche Diagnostics Country Head for Nigeria, Taofik Oloruko-Oba, who opened the session, noted that “Roche Diagnostics focuses on a sustainable growth strategy which strives to meet needs of patients in collaboration with relevant stakeholders across the region.”
He added that the company’s growth strategy is benchmarked on anticipating these needs and putting in place solutions that meet the purpose statement “doing now what patients need next.”
Speaking during the session, Senior Health Specialist IFC, World Bank Dr. Olumide Okunola, emphasized that Universal Health Care is not an aspiration but a requirement that all African countries must work towards.
“There are a lot of opportunities and lessons that can be learnt to allow for faster progression and realization,” Dr. Olumide said.
Benson Obonyo, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reiterated that quality Primary Health Care (PHC) is the cornerstone of the health system, connecting the population with trusted healthcare providers who can address the most common health needs throughout their lives, inclusive of preventive, promotive and creative care.
Trevor Peter, Clinton Health Access Initiative said that in order to build the market, Global guidance and Business Planning where companies need to develop robust business plans to enable sustainable scale-up were critical.
Ritu Shrivastava from the Private Sector Engagement – CDC added that Public Private Partnerships are very important and gave the example of fostering PPP workshops with Siemens, BD, Roche Diagnostics in conjunction with Ministries of Health to achieve the 90 90 90 goals of the UNAIDS in the areas of diagnosis, treatment initiation and viral suppression.
Matilu Mwau from Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) expressed that the sector needs to re-organise the use of resources already available for notable advancement in health care delivery and emphasized the need for guided partnerships.
Roche Diagnostics has partnered with African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) 2018 for the fourth Biennial International Conference in Abuja in a bid to prevent and control the next pandemic in Africa with a focus on the “Role of the Laboratory.”
Roche Diagnostics showcased its achievements in tackling Hepatitis B and C in Nigeria as well as new solutions in the HIV space.
The purpose of the conference is to provide information on the laboratory medicine landscape and needs in Africa as well as increase awareness of opportunities to invest in laboratory medicine amongst private, public and philanthropic donors.
The conference further facilitates networking among participants, particularly for newcomers to African healthcare settings and markets while promoting the creation of public-private partnerships to ensure further development of both African laboratories and African diagnostics companies.
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