What role do parliamentarians play towards achieving universal health coverage? AFIDEP co-convenes the 14th Network of African Parliamentary Committees of Health (NEAPACOH)
21 February 2023
Author: Pauline Soy

On February 22-23, 2023, parliamentarians, experts, and other policymakers will come together in Kampala, Uganda for the 14th Network of African Parliamentary Committees of Health (NEAPACOH) meeting, organised by the Partners in Population and Development – Africa Regional Office (PPD ARO) and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP), among other partners.

This year’s NEAPACOH meeting will provide space for capacity building and constructive discussions among African parliamentarians on priority policy interventions for health sector, especially within the context of achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

UHC, as defined by the World Health Organization, is the access by all individuals to quality health services without suffering financial hardship. African governments invest comparatively little in the health sector, with the dire consequence for their citizens including exorbitant out-of-pocket fees which leave people in poverty.

The 14th NEAPACOH meeting will serve as a platform to share innovative and cost-effective experiences and practices that enhance the achievement of UHC and drive political leadership and accountability in the health sector.

AFIDEP is contributing to deliberations at the NEAPACOH meeting by co-hosting various sessions outlined below:


Panel Discussion on Accelerating African Leadership, Stewardship and Accountability for Increased Domestic Investments in Health for Achieving UHC and the SDGs (22 October, 3.55 – 5.10 p.m. EAT)

The session is jointly facilitated by PPD-ARO and AFIDEP, and will feature experts from the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST), East Africa Community (EAC) Secretariat, Amref International University, and The Gambia’s National Population Commission Secretariat.

Discussions will be geared towards increasing the knowledge of policy and decision-makers on the need and mechanisms to increase domestic health financing and effectively use resources allocated for health to accelerate the achievement of UHC and the SDGs.


Launch of the Advance Domestic Health Financing Project (22 February, 5.10 – 5.20 p.m. EAT)

AFIDEP and PPD-ARO will officially launch the Advance Domestic Health Financing project at the 14th NEAPACOH meeting. The project seeks to contribute to increasing domestic investments in health and promoting efficient use of health budgets, with a focus on primary healthcare (PHC), and girls’ and women’s health.

The project builds on African governments’ commitments such as the 2001 Abuja Declaration, the 2019 Africa Leadership Meeting (ALM) Declaration, as well as other national, regional, and global commitments related to PHC and girls’ and women’s health including the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD+25) Commitments, Family Planning 2030 (FP2030) Commitments, and 2021 Generation Equality Forum.


Presentation on Health Technologies and Tools for the Realization of UHC in Africa, the Opportunities for Changing the Status Quo (23 February, 9.00 – 10.00 a.m. EAT)

Professor Richard Mukabana, Project Director of AFIDEP’s Platform for Dialogue and Action on Health Technologies (Health Tech Platform), will outline the potential of emerging health technologies such as gene drives for malaria control and monoclonal antibodies to contribute towards achieving UHC and the SDGs.

This will be a follow-up presentation to the 2021 NEAPACOH symposium which introduced the Health Tech Platform, emerging technologies being developed in Africa, and explored the role of parliamentarians in their development.


Presentation on Integrating Population, Health and Environment for Sustainable Development (23 February, 9.00 – 10.00 a.m. EAT)

The presentation by the Building Capacity for Integrated Family Planning (FP) and Reproductive Health (RH) and Population, Environment and Development (PED) Action (BUILD) Project Director, Clive Mutunga, will feed into discussions on practical game-changer programmes and imperatives that are critical for the sustainable achievement of UHC and the SDGs.