Future of African Healthcare Series: In conversation with Dr Magda Robalo

Kudzai Makomva
April 27, 2023

Kudzai Makomva

Kudzai is a Managing Partner at Market Access Africa. She specializes in helping public and third sector organizations develop compelling strategies, finance and scale social impact initiatives

This edition spotlights Dr Magda Robalo, President, Institute of Global Health and Development.

Dr. Robalo shares her insights on Africa’s New Public Health Order, and what it will take from all of us to reconstruct the status quo approach to global health. We further discuss challenges, strengths and opportunities for the continent, placing our diversity at the centre.

Watch the full video below, and read a few highlights below from our conversation.

On the future of a New Public Health Order for Africa…

“What has been happening within global health, and it will take a while to be changed, is that global policies and priorities are defined by groups in big rooms in Geneva, New York and the likes. And no matter how much domestication and adaptation we say we are doing in our countries, it's never like a bottom-up process.

The bottom-up process within global health is perceived as inviting a few people from selected countries. Usually, always the same, to participate in those meetings and define what the global needs and priorities are. What we need to do, what a new Public Health Order needs, is to be between the global level and the national level.”

On the importance of local empowerment…

“We need to build capacity. We need to use the expertise. There is so much expertise within the continent that is not brought to contribute to improved healthcare, and we need to address that.

There is also the important role of domestic investment in our health infrastructure before we look for proposals from X, Y and such. We really need to get our own resources. And Africa has resources, much more resources to invest in health than is being contributed so far.”

On African diversity as a source of strength…

“What I think is the strength, but so far is perceived as probably more of a challenge, is the wide diversity of the continent from Cape Town to Cairo. There is a wide variety of cultures, social, ethnic groups that we have not yet found the best way of uniting in diversity and then polling our strengths to move forward.

We don't need vaccine manufacturing units in every country. We need to see where best our capacities are.

We need to have unity within our diversity. That's our way forward to become the continent…I will not say of the future, because for Africa, the future is today.”

Learn more about the Market Access Africa team and our mission to design and deliver transformational healthcare solutions across. Africa

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