8th Hybrid East African Health and Scientific Conference and International Health Exhibition and Trade Fair, Nairobi - Kenya
The 8th Hybrid EAHSC was held from 17-19 November 2021 and hosted at the Mombasa Beach Hotel. It was jointly organized by the EAHRC, the Ministry of Health of Kenya, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya. The Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) was the conference Secretariat. A National Steering Committee and subcommittees led the preparations.
1. Message from the Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Health, Kenya
On behalf of the East Africa Community and the Republic of Kenya, I extend a warm welcome to all the conference delegates. The theme for this year’s conference is “East African Community Sustainable Development Goal on Health: Reflection and Path Ahead to 2030”. The conference will provide an engaging platform for partner states to reflect on progress from a country and regional level as regards meeting the targets for the Sustainable Development Goal 3.
“Knowledge sharing is power” and indeed, conferences such as the 8th East Africa Health & Scientific Conference provide the platform for dissemination of knowledge for information, advocacy and for policy change where need be. The future of health is firmly grounded on technology, research, and innovation. It is my hope that through the next three days we will identify key areas that, we as the East African Community can harness to collectively strengthen our health systems. The time to invest in critical areas such as regional referral supra laboratories, telemedicine, and manufacture of key supplies such as medicine, vaccines and laboratory reagents is now. As the East Africa Community motto states: One People, One Destiny, we must never tire striving to give the best to our populations.
I look forward to a well synthesized summary on the status of SDG 3 implementation in the region, conference resolutions and the practical lessons learnt that partner states can implement and scale up. A big welcome to all the conference delegates and we do hope that you enjoy the conference and in the not-so-distant future do make time to visit Kenya and enjoy our warm hospitality. Karibuni.
Hon. Sen. Mutahi Kagwe, EGH
Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Health, Kenya
2. Message from the Secretary General of the East African Community
I would like to welcome all participants to the 8th East African Health and Scientific Conference (EAHSC) attending physically or virtually and to convene warm greetings from the EAC Secretariat headquartered in Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania.
First and foremost, I would like to convey my gratitude to the Republic of Kenya for hosting the 8th EAHSC.
My gratitude goes also towards the Government and the people of the Republic of Kenya for the hospitality extended to all participants attending physically the conference.
I thank the EAC development partners who have contributed and continue supporting for the success of the conference as well as scientists who took time to prepare what to share with their colleagues.
I would like to reiterate that the EAC Secretariat is committed to continue supporting the EAHSC. Indeed, the EAHSC is convened in the fulfilment of the resolutions of the EAC recommendations and relevant Treaty provisions of the establishment of the EAC (article118) with regards to regional cooperation and integration in the health sector
The theme that has been proposed is: “East African Community Sustainable Development Goal on Health: Reflection and Path Ahead to 2030’’.
In the EAC Development Strategy 2021/22- 2025/26, the Overall Goal is: “To Transform the East African Community into a Stable, Competitive and Sustainable Lower-middle Income Region by 2030”, with Overarching Theme on Building momentum towards post-COVID19 recovery and accelerating regional adaptation to the dynamic socio-economic environment.
The development strategy indicates clearly that the EAC is committed to improve the life and the well-being of the EAC citizens.
The SDG is focusing on improvement of health care delivery and enhance the prevention in the field of reproductive, maternal, new born, child, and adolescent health; infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, mental health and environmental risks, substance abuse including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol, tobacco, global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents, Universal Health Coverage, and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Decision makers, scientists and stakeholders are invited to discuss on the best ways to achieve the SDG 3.
One of the challenges encountered in reaching the target of the SDG 3 by 2030 is under funding of the health sector and lack of sustainable strategies to combat or prevent the different diseases and health related matters.
Furthermore, the whole word in general and the EAC region in particular is facing the negative impact on the life and well-being of the EAC Citizens caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The EAC secretariat has put in place a regional response plan coordinated by representatives from EAC Partner States, EAC secretariat, EAC Organs and Institutions with the aim of mitigating the negative impact of the life and well-being of EAC citizens by proposing concrete strategies to use in all sectors that lead to integration of the EAC.
I am confident that research findings carried out in the EAC region regarding all aspects related to the implementation of the SDG 3 will be shared and discussed fruitfully, expecting that relevant and realistic recommendations, for the improvement of health care and delivery through a strategic implementation of the SDG 3 for the improvement of the health and the well-being of citizens of the Community, will be suggested.
Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki
EAC Secretary General
3. Message from the Acting Executive Secretary of the East African Health Research Commission
I would like to address a warm welcome to all participants attending the 8th EAHSC physically or virtually.
Let me recall that the East African Health and Scientific Conference (AHSC) is a biennial event hosted on rotational basis by EAC partner states. The EAHSC contributes towards strengthening regional cooperation in health in line with Article 118 of the Treaty for the establishment of EAC. It enhances the ideals of the EAC, which is free movement of People, Services, and Goods.
The main theme of the 8th EAHSC is “East African Community Sustainable Development Goal on Health: Reflection and Path Ahead to 2030’’.
The theme has attracted around 200 relevant abstracts that will be presented and discussed.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
Good health is essential to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda reflects the complexity and interconnectedness of the two. SDG 3, that is proposed for discussion today, has targets to attain by 2030. It talks of reducing or preventing significantly by 2030, the global maternal mortality ratio , end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health and well-being. It also focuses on strengthening the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol, halving the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents, achieving universal health coverage, and substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.
The EAC partner states have done a lot in attainment of the goal, but a lot is still to be done in the region. One of the challenges the EAC is facing in implementation of the SDG 3 is lack of sustainable sources of funding research. This requires a deep reflection on how to ensure sustainable source of funding the health in EAC region. Recently the COVID-19 has affected the whole world, showing how weak are our health systems and how unprepared countries are regarding responding to the pandemic. COVID-19 pandemic has impacted negatively the life and the well-being of the EAC citizens.
East African Health Research Commission is an institution of the East African Community stablished by the Summit of the EAC Heads of State. The EAHRC has been established as a mechanism for making available to the Community, advise upon all matters of health and health related researches and findings necessary for knowledge generation, technological development, policy formulations, practices and related matters. It is the principal advisory institution to the EAC on health Research and Development (R&D).
In this regard, with the aim of seeking for more insight about the pandemic, and considering the prevalence of severe acute respiratory infections-like symptoms before the official announcement of Covid-19 cases in the region, the EAHRC conducted a study to verify if COVID-19 infections had already occurred in the region before the official announcement of Covid-19 cases in our region in order to inform policy and practice. Results indicated that COVID 19 was not present in the EAC region before the first official cases were reported.
In addition, the EAHRC secretariat will issue in few days a book of abstracts on all studies carried out in EAC partner states since the occurrence on the Covid-19 pandemic in the region was announced. The conference is a great opportunity to discuss on how far the region has implemented the SDG3 and discuss the efficient ways to fast track the implementation, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
I would like to thank all who have contributed in many ways to make the event happen, the host nation, the Republic of Kenya, the EAC partner states, the development partners, private sector, sponsors, health professionals and all stakeholders.
Dr. Novat Twungubumwe
Acting Executive Secretary of the East African Health Research Commission (EAHRC)
4. Message from the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health, Kenya
I am delighted to welcome you to the opening session of the 8th East Africa Health & Scientific Conference. This conference is a culmination of tireless efforts between the Government of Kenya and the East Africa Health Research Commission. My sincere appreciation to my colleagues in the National Steering Committee and its secretariat and the affiliated planning sub-committees that included the Scientific, Protocol, Resource Mobilization, ICT & Communication, Procurement and Exhibition.
The theme for this conference is “East African Community Sustainable Development Goal on Health: Reflection and Path Ahead to 2030”. Planning for this conference has been exciting as this is the first virtual conference of its kind and secondly, we had the highest number of abstracts submitted so far since the inception of the East Africa Health & Scientific Conference.
On behalf of the Conference National Steering Committee, I sincerely thank all the participants as this is indeed what determines a successful conference – without participants there is no conference! Thank you to all the partners and collaborators who have supported the work that will be presented in this conference.
I look forward to a highly interactive conference. I thank you all for your participation and support. Karibuni
Susan Mochache, CBS
Principal Secretary, Ministry of Health, Kenya
5. Message from the Chair of the Conference
As chair of the 8th East African Health and Scientific Conference & International Health Exhibition and Trade Fair, it is with great pleasure that I extend a warm welcome to all participants to this conference.
This 8th edition of the East African Health and Scientific Conference and International Health Exhibition and Trade Fair, is being hosted by the Republic of Kenya in collaboration with East African Health Research Commission Secretariat, coming after the postponement of the planned face-to-face convening in Nairobi, in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whereas this year’s conference is going fully virtual, we hope that you will still feel the local Kenyan hospitality and ambience throughout the duration of the conference. The current unprecedented global pandemic of COVID-19 has exposed the extent of unpreparedness and the extreme fragility of our health systems. Our Region and most of the African countries, still under the burden of both infectious and chronic diseases are facing emerging threats related to climate change.
The theme of this year’s conference is, “East African Community Sustainable Development Goal on Health: Reflection and Path Ahead to 2030”. This year’s conference offers a rich and diverse menu of scientific content, plenary discussions on topical issues in health systems, hosted symposia, and consortia. Besides this, the conference offers to the researchers, the pharmaceutical industry, the civil society and the policy makers the appropriate forum to exchange on these priority and interlinked issues from the virtual interactive platform. This conference is the opportunity to better know the nature of the burden of disease and the readiness of the health systems in the East African countries in line with sustainable development goals on health
Notwithstanding the exceptionality of our conference this year, the 8th EAHSC maintains its rich scientific program that includes 187 abstracts expected to be presented in 5 plenary sessions, 20 parallel scientific sessions and poster sessions. In addition to these there will be five symposia that are linked to the main theme of the conference where presentations will also be made and discussed. Several experts in the field will discuss the various presentations and generate recommendations that will inform the implementation of the East African Community Sustainable Development Goal on Health reflecting to the path ahead to 2030 for better research for health, health services delivery and health outcomes in the region and beyond.
On behalf of the conference organizers, I would like to express appreciation to all who supported the organization of the 8th EAHSC, especially the Government of Kenya; the East African Health Research Commission Secretariat; the Kenya Medical Research Institute; the national and regional steering committees; development partners; public and private institutions and organizations. I would like to thank all participants for having so generously devoted time to ensure that the preparations for the Conference have been successfully undertaken
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, I would like to thank all participants for having so generously devoted time to ensure that the preparations for the Conference have been successfully undertaken. I remain indebted to members of the organizing committee for their dedication and resilience.
Thank you all and Karibuni Sana.
Prof. Charles Mbogo
Chair of the Conference