AfroPHC Workshop Report
The first session 4-7pm Central African time 9th September was moderated by Champion Nyoni. Participants were introduced to Mentimeter to provide feedback. There were over 100 participants from a number of countries in Africa (South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, Malawi, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania) as well as globally (USA, Belgium, Germany, Lebanon, Argentina and The Netherlands. Participants felt overwhelmingly excited about the workshop with some anxiety around internet, times, unsure what to expect and being the first of its kind.
Shabir Moosa, shared what and who AfroPHC was all about. Champion Nyoni talked on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). After the first hour the session broke into two rounds of different group discussions of 15 minutes each with introductions and reflecting on MBTI. Prosper Tumusiime of WHO AFRO welcomed the session between the group discussions. He mentioned several key global documents, including the Astana Declaration, the political declarations on UHC and SDG, and African declarations for financing. He bemoaned the lack of progress in Africa and called for acceleration of UHC especially for good acceptable quality PHC. Health systems were a priority, guided by the Regional Committee Framework for UHC/SDGs, documents strengthening the DHS and the UHC Flagship. He requested a whole society approach and welcomed efforts of AfroPHC in building teamwork.
The initial group feedback shared by participants was that this exciting meeting was very interactive with considerable value-added. Feedback on the MBTI was that it was an interesting opener and conversation starter. MBTI was seen as a very useful tool in teamwork. A closing remark was that the breakup sessions were just great despite nervousness around the technical challenges.
The second session 4-7pm Central African time 10th September with ±100 participants was moderated by Bongi Sibanda. Participants were introduced more explicitly to Mentimeter. Participants shared their professions: a mix of family doctors, nurses and other disciplines. Most participants were from Southern Africa with participants feeling excited and energised. The agenda was exploring what the community expects from ambulatory PHC service delivery in Africa. There was a well-moderated panel discussion for one hour, including several leaders within AfroPHC. There was then discussion in small groups of 8-12. After regrouping participants were excited, inspired and encouraged. The feedback from all participants on “What does the community expect from ambulatory PHC service delivery in Africa” was mostly accessible, comprehensive quality care in partnership with communities. Group feedback was that the community expects holistic accessible, acceptable multidisciplinary team care (including community healthcare workers), public-private partnerships and referrals that are tailored to the needs of the community and in partnership with them. The feedback from participants on the way forward was that it needed to be based on Africa-specific, multidisciplinary and multisectoral collaborative networking and advocacy. Participants found the session interactive, value-adding and innovative.
The third session 4-7pm Central African time 11th September with ±100 participants was moderated by Shabir Moosa. Participants were introduced more explicitly to Zoom Rooms and Mentimeter. Participants were from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Eswatini, Zimbabawe, USA, Germany and Argentina. Most were family physicians, family nurse practitioners, nurses, occupational therapists and a range of other professions. There was a quiz to get familiar with Mentimeter. People expected to interact more, meet primary care leaders from across Africa, learn about PHC in other countries, collaborate interprofessionally and across AfroPHC, and take action on a way forward to improve PHC in Africa. They enjoyed the panel discussions, interactions and group conversations.
Before the group discussions feedback was requested on “Who should be part of the PHC team in African PHC Service?” Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, community health care workers, dentist, social workers, occupational therapists’ clinical officers, and an array of others featured. There was a moderated panel discussion with leaders from AfroPHC and then discussion in small groups of 8-12 for 45 minutes on “Who should be part of the PHC team in African PHC Service?”, “How should the PHC teamwork in ambulatory PHC service delivery in Africa?” It was felt that all healthcare professionals and other stakeholders (patients, community and leaders) need to be part of the PHC team in an interprofessional team-based approach. There was tension between leadership by doctors and nurses, although a predominance expected coordinated, collaborative and consultative interprofessional teamwork. On “What support does the PHC team need in ambulatory PHC service delivery in Africa?” participants felt that PHC needed to be advocated for and prioritized with political and financial support and policies, education and training, infrastructure, community support, public-private partnerships, stronger supervision and teambuilding.
In closing participants felt that the workshop was outstanding for being highly interactive, informative, collaborative and networking. Suggestions for improvement were to have more networking workshops and include community voices.
On how we “Build PHC teamwork in Africa” participants suggested collaborations, regular workshops, training especially on teamwork, policy advocacy, and stakeholder engagement. On how we “Advocate for appropriate PHC and UHC” participants suggested good leadership, engaging politicians, community and PHC workers with a mix of research and training. Participants also wanted AfroPHC to be more formalized as an organization, with a conference/workshop statement emerging.
On the way forward most felt that AfroPHC should be formalized in an organizational format of a mix of individual membership with supporting organisations, with various activities suggested for AfroPHC to embark on, especially training, research, leadership and communication.