Achieving Universal Health Coverage for Africa: Stronger Together
The third annual Africa Health Business Symposium, held October 8-9, 2018 in Johannesburg, drew more than 250 delegates and officials from across sub-Saharan Africa, including Dr. Isseu Diop Touré, SHOPS Plus Chief of Party in Senegal and Mr. Ibrahima Baldé, Chief of Senegal’s Ministry of Health Partnership Division. SHOPS Plus supported their attendance as part of the project’s strategic goal to improve health outcomes by strengthening government’s stewardship of the private sector.
The symposium focused on ways to achieve universal health coverage (UHC). Stakeholders from across the public and private sectors participated, including representatives from government institutions, associations and civil society, in addition to private companies in finance, telecommunications, and other sectors such as infrastructure and supply chain. Discussions focused around UHC best practices and experiences, and ways that public-private partnerships at national and regional levels could help reduce financial barriers and increase access to health services for all.
Senegal, like many other countries on the continent, is dedicated to achieving UHC for all. The government of Senegal’s Plan National de Développement Sanitaire (2009-2018) has a vision for the health of its citizens as “a Senegal where all individuals, all households, and all communities enjoy universal access to promotional, preventive, curative health services of quality, without exclusion.” For the plan to succeed, the private health sector must be fully engaged in partnership with the public sector. SHOPS Plus is working to increase private provider participation in government-led mutuelles by facilitating increased dialogue between the UHC Agency and Private Sector Alliance and by supporting a model of collaboration for private providers and mutuelles that could potentially be scaled up to other regions of Senegal.
SHOPS Plus provides support to the Ministry’s Partnership Division to reinforce their ability to manage public-private partnerships, and to the Ministry’s division that monitors and tracks private facilities to improve their overall management capacity. In addition, SHOPS Plus provides technical assistance to the Private Sector Alliance (ASPS), to strengthen their leadership capabilities and to reinforce collaboration with the MOH at the central and regional levels. SHOPS Plus also co-sponsored last year’s symposium in Dakar.