on Wednesday, 15 May 2019.

Dear Colleagues,

Here is another way of approaching Universal Health Coverage(UHC).

UHC that leaves no one behind is about humanity and social cohesion and not economics.

Let us start this discussion by asking some basic questions. What is the purpose and nature of human life? As species Homo sapiens we are by nature empathetic, social and capable of collaborating in mutually supportive ways for individual and common good. We are naturally saddened when we see human suffering and cheered when we witness human success. This is what has enabled us to communally learn together, develop new knowledge and use it collectively and cohesively to transform the natural environment to our advantage.

Yes, we also have in us negative non cohesive tendencies such as selfishness and greed, jealousy and aggression. There is therefore permanent interplay between the socially cohesive and the non-cohesive tendencies however; ultimately the mutually supportive common good tendencies predominate. This is the reason why we have collectively overcome the consequences of our negative tendencies such as ending wars that we start; ending slavery, colonialism, apartheid and controlling pandemics. Indeed negotiating and adopting the SDGs is an example of the success of our cohesive tendencies. How is this interplay between our cohesive and negative tendencies currently impacting the achievement of UHC?


on Friday, 15 February 2019.

Dear Colleagues,

Here is a topic worth our attention and discussion.

I have been inspired to post this piece following recent social media conversations on this topic of inter-professional harmony and cohesion in the health sector. As you know, the Health Workforce is made up of different health professions who at best work in inseparable interdependent teams in which each profession has defined roles which reciprocally support and complement each other in delivering health services to individuals and communities. The four dimensions of health workforce performance; namely, availability, competence, responsiveness and productivity are all enhanced when there is team work, harmony and cohesion within and between the health professions in health service planning and delivery.

Yet we are also aware that there is what was described as “Tribalism of the professions i.e. the tendency of the various professions to act in isolation from or even competition with each other” by the Lancet Commission on Health Professional for a New Century. We also know of harmful intra-professional conflicts. Our priority must be to focus our efforts in detribalizing the health professions and promoting intra and trans-professional harmony in order to serve the people and not the professions or individuals. How can this be achieved?


on Thursday, 25 October 2018.

This posting coincides with the 40th Anniversary of the 1978 Alma Ata
Declaration on Health for All. Please read and comment.

I have just arrived at Astana, Kazakhstan for the 40th Anniversary of the “Health for All Declaration” and the Global Conference on Primary Health Care (PHC) 25 – 26 October, 2018. It presents an opportunity for us to reflect on how we will monitor PHC especially
its contribution to our progress towards achievement of health for all, UHC and SDGs.

Let us start by drawing attention to the fact that among the current SDG indicators on UHC, there is no indicator that explicitly monitors household and community participation and action for health. Yet we know that the demand side of UHC is critical for supporting health
promotion, wellbeing and building societies that enable healthy lifestyles, and for influencing the habits of individuals and the behavior of institutions.
The demand side facilitates effective engagement of the people and the community in building strong, resilient and responsive health systems.


on Wednesday, 11 July 2018.

Dear Colleagues,

Here is a discussion on the tension between health promotion and treatment of disease.

We are returning to the very lively discussion we held in the past on the need and challenges faced by health systems in attaining the correct balance between maintaining inborn population health through health promotion, community participation and disease prevention on the one hand and treatment of diseases and illness on the other hand. I am also inspired by what happened in my country Uganda on 8 July 2018 when President Y K Museveni walked 10 kilometers around Kampala streets accompanied by thousands of citizens including political and professional leaders during the National Physical Fitness Day and delivered a number of health promoting messages.


African Techno-Professionals: Leading Strategic Purchasing Solution

on Thursday, 19 April 2018.

Dear Colleagues,

Here is our discussion topic for this period.

I want us to return once again to our previous discussions on the potential contribution of our African Techno-professionals to Africa’s transformation and to call upon this group to take our place as effective leaders where ever we are and at every turn. There is a critical mass of Techno-professionals in most African countries and our time is now.

This is inspired by two events that are taking place in East Africa right now. Along with my ACHEST colleagues, we attended the first event on 22 February, 2018 in Kampala. This was a Joint East African Community (EAC) Heads of State Retreat where host President Y K Museveni of Uganda complained that the conference hall was too hot and apologized to his colleagues. He wondered what the engineers and technicians were doing if they are not able to keep the room comfortably cool. He also wondered what his protocol officers were doing; always walking up and down, looking busy without results. President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya followed by complaining about bureaucrats in his country who delay the approval and implementation of investment plans for up to two years. These engineers who could not keep the meeting room cool, the protocol officers and the Kenyan bureaucrats are all our Techno-professionals in whom we have placed great hope for the future. We will come back to discuss how to support this group at a later date.