BY STAFF REPORTER
The forthcoming Zimbabwe International Health Conference will help stimulate conversations on the country’s struggling health sector and open doors for new partnerships, organisers have said.
Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) — publishers of The Standard, Zimbabwe Independent, Southern Eye and NewsDay as well as owners of Heart& Soul Broadcasting
Services — are co-ordinating the pioneering conference set for June 14 to 16 in Victoria Falls.
AMH is organising the conference to help facilitate conversations and partnerships that will achieve public health goals within Zimbabwe,” AMH said.
“The objective is to build a unique multi-sectoral platform by aligning industry and all prospective players towards repositioning Zimbabwe into a key regional health referral country in Africa.”
South African’s anti-apartheid activist and former World Bank managing director Mampele Ramphele will headline the conference, which is expected to attract health experts from across the continent.
Ramphele, a medical doctor, is a former vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town.
The conference is aimed at “building a favourable policy regime to foster collaborations and convergence in public health”.
It will also explore “best practices and experience from countries in the region and discuss the setting-up of a strong public health response” in the face of a growing disease burden.
The pharmaceutical industry’s role in reversing the “epidemiological transition” will also come under discussion while development agencies are expected to share their experiences working in the health sector.
Health and Finance ministers, donor agencies, multilateral institutions, corporates, entrepreneurs, researchers, academics and non-governmental organisations are expected to participate at the conference.
Zimbabwe’s health delivery system has over the years suffered from a brain drain and reduced government funding due to an economic crisis.
The country also has a heavy disease burden with one of the highest HIV/Aids prevalence rates in the world.
Crumbling infrastructure in urban areas has led to frequent outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and typhoid.