Over the last few years I have been reading of certain African summits, certain African conferences, certain African events, that are held somewhere in Europe or the US. No, these are not African summits or events that require Africans residing in the European or American countries to attend; but African summits or conferences that require delegates mostly Government Officials and Private Sector dignitaries residing in Africa to attend such events. One such event is the Africa Healthcare Summit, the 4th Edition of which is scheduled to take place in London between 21st and 22nd February 2017.
The Africa Healthcare Summit that started in is an annual London event that has been held in London since its inception in 2014; and since then the summit has been held to assess investment, developments and technology in African health. The Africa Healthcare Summit reached the final of the Best New Conference Awards in 2015. To tell us just how the Africa Healthcare Summit is wrongly held in London, the Africa Healthcare Summit is attended by hundreds of senior level delegates from Ministries of Health, NGO’s, hospitals, healthcare providers, distributors and solution providers from Africa. According to Oliver Kinross, the event takes place in London to allow African healthcare leaders the opportunity to meet international healthcare experts and solution providers.
At this point it is good to ask, is there any American only event, any Asian only event, and any European only event that takes place in any other continents other than the continent in question? Why do we have several African events happening outside of the continent? What, for example, does London offer African leaders that Accra, Addis-Ababa, Durban, Arusha, or any other African city cannot offer? White skinned people? We have many of those in many South African cities. Good modern technological gadgets? Nairobi is at per with many of the European cities when it comes to technological equipment. So why is it that African leaders find it necessary to hold an African event in London?
The rants aside, it seems there is something great that is going to be discussed, in London, of a breakthrough in medical technology that will help millions of Africans suffering from tuberculosis. According to health data, Tuberculosis is one the leading killers particularly affecting HIV patients. The one thing that makes tuberculosis kill thousands of patients every year is because of the time required to get back test results. Currently there are three methods for testing for tuberculosis namely the cultural test with a 42-day turnaround and limited availability (centralised laboratories are usually the only source for patients); the sputum microscopy test, which is labour-intensive and has only a 60% accuracy rate; and finally, the molecular test, which detects bacterial DNA in the sputum sample. The molecular test takes just two hours to provide a diagnosis, but is not widely available in rural areas.
To workaround those difficulties, a new, faster test for TB has been produced by a multinational group of researchers at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, if their new method for testing TB is approved after clinical trials, it will be able to provide almost immediate results, allowing for diagnosis and treatment in a single visit. The test involves a hand-held, battery-operated instrument that measures chemicals in the blood sample. In the new method, there is no need for laboratories or senior health-care workers, as the test can be carried out by any health-care worker with minimal training.
At the 4th Edition of the Africa Healthcare Summit 2017 (21-22 February, London) ministers of health from over 20 African countries will be discussing the fight against Tuberculosis, as well as current and ongoing projects for building better healthcare in Africa. This Summit is the largest event in Europe to focus on healthcare across Africa, and will host over 650 delegates, 85 exhibitors and 90+ top level speakers, including Ministers, National and International Hospital Directors & Distributors, architects, investors, solution providers and many more healthcare professionals.
Along with a number of Hospital & Clinic Directors and Distributors, Oliver Kinross, the organisers of the Africa Healthcare Summit, will be working very closely with Ministers of Health from across the continent, including Kenya, Gabon, Namibia, Egypt, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Ghana and Madagascar.