Talks aim to heal sector

Nairobi will be hosting the third chapter of the East African Healthcare Federation (EAHF) Conference at the Safari Park Hotel, from March 2 to March 4. The talks will cap a year in which Kenya experienced debilitating strikes by health workers amid reports of a polio outbreak and subsequent declaration of a national emergency,

The conference which is to be held in Kenya for the first time – previously held in Kampala and Dar es Salaam – is themed “Creating Business Opportunities in Healthcare in East Africa” and will bring together Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Burundi.

Dr Amit Thakker, the Conference Director and CEO of Kenya Healthcare Federation, said “Our conference is trying to foster a greater partnership between the five East African states through public-private and private-private partnerships.”
He noted that faith-based organisations – such as the Aga Khan University Hospitals and the Hindu Mandal hospital – were playing key role in the region’s healthcare.
That said, one of the key challenges plaguing the region is the availability of qualified professionals, and to this end, he hopes that the conference will “reduce non-tariff barriers and improve movement of health workers around the region.”
Dr Thakker added that Tanzania in particular needs to invest in training, although he acknowledged that the country’s National Health Policy was one of the most progressive in the region.
Tanzania will be represented by a 50 member strong delegation. This is comparison to 35 delegates from Uganda and 10 representatives each from Burundi and Rwanda.
The EAHF conference will discuss, among other issues, ways to increase healthcare personnel and attract further investment in the sector

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