Healthcare takes centre stage at the 2022 Africa Health Congress

 

As African economies begin to emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, there is increasing recognition that prioritising investment into health systems will improve resilience, increase equity, and promote economic security.

Estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predict that the economy within the sub-Saharan African region will expand by 3.8% in 2022, which bodes well for an associated rise in healthcare spending. While the region continues to battle its burden of infectious diseases, like HIV, malaria, TB, cholera and now Covid-19, as well its increasing rate of chronic diseases, lessons learnt from the pandemic are prompting both public and private players to look at new ways to strengthen health systems within the region, thereby creating opportunities for services and technology to achieve that. 


Although there has been progress in achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by several countries within the region, as a whole, the region is lagging. Attaining universal health care in the rapidly expanding, ageing, and urbanising population adds to the complexities and challenges faced by policymakers and will no doubt require radical shifts in the purchasing and provision of healthcare.


Increased digitisation in healthcare driven largely by the Covid-19 pandemic has assisted the MDG efforts. Health information exchanges (HIEs), electronic vaccination records, telehealth solutions and the like are gaining some foothold. 

However, there is still a long way to go to realise the full potential of these innovations, which could help bring about equitable access to quality care, save costs, and give remote rural areas digital access to specialist treatments and services.Healthcare quality issues, driven by inadequate human resources, weak systems, strained resource allocation to health, poor maintenance of healthcare infrastructure and lack of political will, amongst others, must take centre stage in legislative reform and state policy agendas. Ensuring that healthcare quality initiatives are equitably spread across a country or region will equate to improved health outcomes, especially for the poorest members of society.

Strategic initiatives aimed at improving human resource capacity, gender disparity, and digitisation are key to achieving the envisioned healthcare objectives. To do this, governments must work together to engender an attractive investment landscape and facilitate equitable public-private partnerships through existing mechanisms. The role of aid funders, although diminishing, will still prove crucial over the coming years as governments begin to implement nationwide integrated quality improvement programmes. The value of intergovernmental collaboration within the African region was demonstrated during the Covid-19 pandemic when several countries pooled their resources to bridge crucial healthcare coverage gaps and worked together to strengthen regional healthcare industry supply chains. The pandemic made it clear that fostering these international partnerships is critical to the sustainability and resilience of Africa’s healthcare sector. 

As in previous years, these shifts, which are set to catalyse a broad range of investment opportunities in the sector over the coming years, will be showcased at the Africa Health Congress and Exhibition, taking place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Johannesburg from 26 – 28 October 2022.
The event, which has increasingly focussed on the sustainability of the continent’s healthcare systems - public, private and hybrid, will this year see a return to in-person business.  

Traditionally brought together the African healthcare industry over three days of networking and education, Africa Health promises to provide a vibrant networking platform upon which to present the latest offerings and innovations. Countries from across the globe will be represented with the majority representation emanating from sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Ghana, Botswana, and Uganda having the majority representation. 

Established as the must-attend healthcare event on the continent over the last 10 years, this year’s Africa Health is expected to play host to over 8000 people. The conference attracts senior policymakers and captains of industry alike as well as healthcare industry professionals from across the region who value the learning, networking, and business, including: 

  • Dealers & Distributors who wish to secure exclusive distribution rights or attract new manufacturers/principals
  • Private Hospitals/Clinics Management whose focus is on establishing and growing vendor portfolios towards achieving the best possible health outcomes.
  • Public Hospitals/Clinics Management who must ensure the delivery of the best possible clinical outcomes by maximising the use of their procurement budget.• Biomedical/Clinical Engineers who have an interest in remaining up to date with the latest advancements in healthcare equipment and influencing future purchases
  • Senior/Junior Clinicians who must stay up to date with medical speciality developments and products that impact their role.
    This year’s event also includes Medlab Africa, the leading platform for medical laboratories in Sub-Saharan Africa.