This Side Event is a tribute to our recently departed dear friend, colleague and IAPO CEO Kawaldip Sehmi and all the great work he did in advocating patient-centred healthcare across the world by bringing to life the vision he had for the 73rd WHO Africa Regional Committee (73rd WHO Africa RC).

Botswana is hosting the 73rd WHO Africa RC, from 28th August to 1st September 2023, where 47 African Member States will be participating alongside patients and a wide community of health stakeholders to discuss healthcare in Africa with a robust agenda planned.

IAPO will hold a Side Event at the 73rd WHO Africa RC titled African Patients Village, a patient-led multistakeholder arena where we will explore the power of togetherness and address current health challenges and promote patient-centred sustainable and resilient health systems in Africa. The main focus of the African Patients Village this year will be on e-health solutions co-designed through public-private-patient organizations collaborations, and multistakeholder engagement in support of the efforts for ensuring access to safe medical products institutionalized through the recently established African Medicines Agency.

Using traditional wisdom, we believe that the world is now a global village, and it takes an entire village to raise a healthy world. This also applies to Africa and each region of the world.

By gathering together, we can be stronger than our problems:
When we gather together in the moonlight village ground, it is not because of the moon. Every man can see it in his own compound. We come together because it is good for kinsmen to do so. Therefore, let us continue with the team spirit and enjoy the power of togetherness. Let’s smile not because we don’t have problems but because we are stronger than the problems. (Chinua Achebe: Things Fall Apart)

The pandemic showed us that the whole of government working with the whole of patient organizations, industry, regulators and other health stakeholders is fundamental for the stability and longevity of health systems, that ultimately lead to better health and longevity in Africa. Together, collaboratively, we can raise a healthy Africa.

The African Patients Village, a patient-led multistakeholder arena where health issues can be discussed and addressed collaboratively, is the epitome of the power of togetherness.

Expert patient engagement and co-creation in health systems is now recognised as a fundamental asset and resource to deliver universal health coverage. Lived experience is expertise in its own right and critical in shaping health systems and improving health outcomes. This has been incorporated in the WHO Framework for Meaningful Engagement of People Living with NCDs and Mental Health and Neurological Conditions. This Framework is designed to provide practical guidance, norms, and standards to support WHO and Member States advancing, co-creating, and enhancing policies, programmes, and services through the meaningful engagement of individuals with lived experience of these health conditions.

We believe the time is right for patients to lead the discussions on key health issues in the region, and participate meaningfully in the co-designing of the African health ecosystem.

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* 1. First name

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* 2. Job role

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* 3. Last name

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* 4. Organization

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* 5. Email address:

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* 6. Country:

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* 7. Would you be interested in being added to the IAPO mailing list and be kept informed of all our activities and news?

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* 8. How will you be attending the Side Event?

Thank you!