Reflections from the UK-Africa Health Summit 2024

March 28, 2024

This week I had the pleasure of attending The UK-Africa Health Summit. The conference explores global health and sheds light on the intricate web of challenges faced by the health workforce worldwide and the growing movement of health professionals engaging in cross border collaboration. 

The UK-Africa Health Summit 2024 focused on three core themes:

  1. How cross border collaborations are catalysing new alliances and energising the global health community through an increasingly confident diaspora community who bring first-hand knowledge of diverse health systems.
  2. Health workforce mobility, with a particular focus on the factors driving migration and its impact on healthcare delivery, as well as efforts being made to support and retain healthcare staff.
  3. How a global workforce is collaborating to address the critical challenge of escalating antibiotic resistance, and anticipating the High-Level Meeting on AMR which will take place in New York in September 2024.

It was a fantastic opportunity to share and learn from people working in different countries and fields, and put into practice innovations to have a bigger impact in global health together – really what these kind of events should be about!

Key takeaways

  • No health system has a monopoly of knowledge – too right, there’s no perfect health system, we need to be humble and curious to learn from every country. I’m always especially interested in innovations bringing care closer to communities, worth checking out the mobile labs used to combat Ebola in Uganda highlighted by Dr Diana Atwine.
  • There’s ‘No health without a workforce’ (see above visual from Jim Campbell at the World Health Organization). The global health workforce shortage is a global problem, it’s counter productive to try to just sort out your own country, nobody wins. Mutual brain gain vs brain drain must be the goal. Properly valuing and paying health workers (large majority female) in every community is obviously essential, but we must also address this problem through widely sharing best-in-class tech, skills and practices.Tech enhances the capabilities of the health workers we have, it makes their roles better and more rewarding, and means we can shift tasks to a broader range of community health workers in even the remotest communities.Many thanks to Ben Simms Louise McGrath Richard Skone James and everyone at Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET) involved in organising.

    Rich Bryson, CEO of Spirit Health Foundation

    Rich Bryson, CEO of Spirit Health Foundation