On behalf of the Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation (ACUF) and the collaborating Institutions – Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Nigerian Thoracic Society (NTS), Global Allergy and Airways Patient Platform (GAAPP) amongst other institutions, it is my honour and pleasure to invite you to the 2023 Amaka Chiwuike-Uba International Asthma Conference (ACUBIAC 2023), which will be held on Thursday, July 2023 at the Oakland Hotel and Amusement Park, Enugu, Nigeria.
The theme for this year’s conference is “COVID-19 and Future in the Past: Health Financing and Universal Health Coverage”.
COVID-19 pandemic has not only exposed the weaknesses of health systems and resilience in Africa, but also exposed areas of need, provided opportunities to strengthen Africa’s health infrastructure and confirmed the need to mobilize resources and secure public funding for health spending. It has also provided the framework to recognise the critical importance of universal systems to galvanize progress towards universal health systems, by capitalizing on the current political commitment to address health emergencies.
One of the major problems facing Africa; especially Nigeria is the lack of healthcare structures, materials and health care workers, archaic methods, poor health care financing, poor/low health care services, and the inability to build upon lessons learned. These problems persist despite the recognition of the right to life as a fundamental human right of all human beings, by the Constitutions, international charters, commissions and conventions and most recently, the SDGs. Specifically, SDG 3 has an overarching objective to “ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”. Nevertheless, the achievement of the remaining 16 SGDs rests squarely on the achievement of SDG 3.
Since the formal launch of the NHIS on June 6, 2005, while government spending on health as a percentage of the total budget has continued to decline, with less than 3 percent of Nigeria’s population covered by the scheme. In 2018, government spending as a percentage of health spending is only 14.9%, with out-of-pocket expenditure accounting for 76.6%, external aid 7.86% and health insurance 0.76%. According to 2020 Report on Global Health Expenditure by the World Health Organization, Nigeria’s out of pocket expenditure has continued to increase from 60.2% in year 2000 to 76.6% in year 2018, while government spending as a percentage of health spending and health insurance coverage have continued to decrease.
Africa’s public spending on health remains inadequate to meet the annual health financing gap of about US $66 billion, as well as the rising health care demands. Increasing public debts may not be the option as most African economies are currently spending up to five times their health budgets on debt repayments. Nigeria alone is losing $1bn annually to medical tourism and Africa’s health care market is worth over $35 billion. This is even more given the Africa’s population growth rate. Therefore, to bridge the financing gap and increase access to affordable and quality health care in Africa, policy to expand universal health insurance coverage and leverage the capital and capacity of the private sector to complement government financing and investments is needed.
Primary Healthcare (PHC) as the main enabler of UHC and poverty reduction requires huge investment in health facilities, equipment and infrastructure, human resources (including e-learning) and e-health tools to improve access and quality of health service delivery to the poor and vulnerable populations. Nigeria has 40,400 hospitals and clinics, with 34,385 representing 85.1% of the total hospitals and clinics as PHCs. While about 12% of the total practicing physicians work in the 34,385 PHCs (public and private), 74% work in private hospitals and 26% in public hospitals. Conversely, while a larger percentage (74%) of the practicing physicians works in private hospitals, private hospitals and clinics represent only 27% of the total hospitals and clinics in Nigeria. In summary, Nigeria has 1 physician per 2500 population and 1 nurse per 625 populations
There can be no UHC without affordable, quality, equitable and sustainable primary healthcare, supported by health financing. Therefore, increased public spending, private sector investments, and universal health insurance are panacea to achieving universal health coverage – managing health inequalities and risks for the poor, vulnerable and marginalized populations as well as reduction in poverty and avoidable annual deaths and morbidity. Therefore, in realization of and on the need to address these key components of healthcare systems and management; especially health financing and universal health coverage, the theme for the 2023 Amaka Chiwuike-Uba International Asthma Conference was chosen.
ACUBIAC 2023 is expected to to provide a platform/forum to identify, brainstorm and share information on Health Financing and Universal Health Coverage as well as stimulate dialogue and enhance collaboration among stakeholders for more effective public, private and external investments and financing of the health sector, with a view to urgently accelerate progress towards health SDGs and achievement of UHC by 2030.
The conference theme will be reflected in discussions around six topics, which include COVID-19 and the Future of the Past: Health Financing and Universal Health Coverage (UHC; Redefining the Role of PPP’s: Investments and Strengthening Health Systems for Inclusive Development and Prosperity; Implications of Health Financing on Severe and Difficult to Control Asthma and Patient Experiences; Implications of Doctors Emigration on Nigeria’s Healthcare System; Closing Gaps in Asthma Care: Asthma Medicines and UHC; and • Human Rights, UHC and Health Management in Africa.
ACUBIAC 2023 will be chaired by Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, FAS – immediate past Minister of Health, Federal Republic of Nigeria. At its core, the conference will feature keynote papers by Prof. Obinna Onwujekwe – Professor of Health Economics, Systems & Policy and Dr. Uche Ojinmah – President, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). Other Key Speakers at the Conference are Dr Adaeze Ayuk – Consultant Paediatric Pulmonologist; Dr. Ifediora Amobi – Economist and former SSA to the President on National Development, Tonya Winders – President, Global Allergy Asthma Patient Platform (GAAPP); Prof. Musa Babashani – Consultant Physician/Pulmonologist and Larry Oguego – National Coordinator of Human Rights Volunteer Corps.
The conference will also feature high-level contributions and discussions by distinguished global leaders in various fields, complemented by young minds, those with asthma and other respiratory diseases and other participants who will be making contributions from their individual perspectives. We are also expecting special addresses from Special Guests of Honour, and some State Governors. The International Asthma Conference draws over 1,000 participants from federal government agencies, the 36 state governments and FCT, the private sector, civil society, international development agencies, and the general public.
Finally, we would also appreciate a donation (financial and/or in-kind) from you in support of the Conference and associated programmes of ACUF. In return for your financial support, subject to your permission, your name/company name and logo shall be placed on the Conference signage/promotional materials. Please find hereunder the bank account details of the Foundation:
Account Holder: Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation (ACUF)
Bank Name: Guaranty Trust Bank Plc
Account Number: 0236341138
In case you need further clarifications and or/information, kindly contact me directly at +234 803 309 5266 and firstname.lastname@example.org. While we look forward to a positive reply, an honour for us indeed; kindly accept the assurances of our highest regards. I look forward to welcoming you to ACUBIAC 2023.
ACUF…improving the quality of life of people…
Chiwuike Uba, Ph.D., FCMA, FCNA, CPA
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Amaka Chiwuike-Uba Foundation (ACUF)