The World Health Assembly (WHA), the decision making body of the World Health Organization, is an annual gathering of representatives of the health leadership of all WHO member states as well as global health leaders, policymakers, advocates, experts and representatives of various stakeholders from around the world. WHA 2023 was held in Geneva, Switzerland between 20th-30th May 2023. This year’s theme was WHO at 75: Saving lives, driving health for all. As always, WHA is accompanied by several side events, almost as important as the actual assembly itself, as the side events provide opportunities for networking, advocacy, building partnership, sharing ideas and learning from each other.
Dr. Ebere Okereke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Milou Biesebroek, Resource Mobilisation Lead, Africa Public Health Foundation (APHF) represented the Foundation in Geneva, attending many side events. Dr. Ebere’s participation in the WHA side events in various panels provided an opportunity to highlight the specific opportunities to strengthening Africa’s public health system in the wake of the pandemic and other public health emergencies. In her sessions, Dr. Ebere focused on the perspective of the African populations, commenting on access to quality healthcare, healthy ageing, healthcare infrastructure development, and strengthening health systems. By representing the Africa Public Health Foundation and advocating for the continent’s health priorities, Dr. Ebere contributed to a more inclusive global health agenda that addresses the pressing concerns of African nations.
Dr. Ebere said, “We were able to forge valuable connections with influential stakeholders and potential partners for the Africa Public Health Foundation. Collaborative ventures and partnerships can significantly amplify the Foundation’s capacity to implement impactful public health programs, secure funding, and access valuable resources to advance public health initiatives in Africa.”
One of the key meetings that happened was with His Excellency Dr. Jean Kaseya, the Director General of Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). They agreed to strengthen the collaboration between Africa CDC and APHF. Dr. Ebere congratulated him on his appointment and offered APHF’s support for his strategic vision and the priorities for Africa CDC.