New technological innovations offer tremendous opportunities to solve some of the perennial grand challenges of public health in Africa. However, these new potential solutions come with an associated cost. In addition to the costs of the technology itself and its maintenance, there are costs associated with systems changes that are often required as a foundation for the new innovations to realise their full potential. Sustainability therefore becomes a key question that large scale healthcare providers like governments, NGOs and the private sector must address. Often, sustainability is viewed through the single lens of cost and affordability. However, the rapid development and evolution of new technological modalities associated with the current 4th industrial revolution makes the issue of sustainability much more complex and multidimensional. Therefore the question of sustainability must be addressed much more holistically and in the context of the entire ecosystem necessary to support and maintain the new game-changing technological innovations that are adopted. In the sustainability track, this conference will explore the question of sustainability through the thematic lenses of public private partnerships biodiversity/climate change and health and global heath security
Public Private Partnerships
Public private partnerships (PPPs) have long held the promise of being the ultimate solution for sustainability. While it logically makes perfect sense that the well-coordinated combination of private and public sector resources, know-how and know “who” should be the at-scale answer to achieving sustainability, actual real life examples that have scaled and been sustained successfully are elusive. Lack of trust, poor implementation and weak commitment recur as reasons why most PPPs fail. This thematic track aims to spur an honest dialogue about the potential of PPPs as a solution to the sustainability question and whether or not their potential can be actualised. The conference is seeking abstracts highlighting examples of notable PPPs, lessons learned, recommendations for the way forward and any new and innovative ideas worthy of being closely followed by the global heath community.
Biodiversity/Climate Change and Health
Climate change poses critical challenges to human health and biodiversity. The World Health Organisation states that “climate change is a significant and emerging threat to public health and changes the way we must look at protecting vulnerable populations”. This thus calls for rethinking approaches in creating sustainable health care. In this sub-track, we shall discuss how to create sustainable healthcare in the face of climate challenges and how to leverage technology/innovations in creating sustainable solutions.
Global Heath Security
Recent urbanisation, globalisation, increased human populations and mobility, coupled with environmental changes have significantly facilitated migration of diseases vectors to areas they had never been registered. This has led to exponential rise in animal-to-human (zoonotic) diseases like the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa and Congo which have claimed thousands of lives and still poses challenges to the health sector. In this sub-track, we shall discuss advances in tackling the threats, from Rapid response systems, coordination, communication surveillance structures, training and Health Information Systems