Save the Date: ACTION 3.8 CONFERENCE 2018 (UHC ACTION), Abuja 13th-14th December, 2018

11 October, 2018


A Regional Conference for Innovative Approaches to Building Momentum for Universal Health Coverage

Date: December 13th -14th 2018, Abuja, Nigeria

UHC Is Not an Option

Our vision for Action 3.8 Conference is to show all delegates the endless opportunities for action towards building momentum for Universal Health Coverage in Africa. This conference will explore the development and innovation of ideas, appreciation of different perspectives, and how to most effectively act on them to enact sustainable change. UHC Action has a springboard of approach that explores the intricate cross-cutting connections across access, quality, demand and supply so that true transformative actions can be a reality for Universal Health Coverage.

Our participants will have their perspectives challenged, expanded and strengthened within the learning ecosystem of the conference, whilst while underlining the key pillars of UHC, from various global, regional, and subregional experiences.

Theme: Leave No One Behind to Ensure Universal Health Coverage for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All at All Ages in Africa

Sub Themes and Eight Lines of Action:

1. Action for Responsibility & Accountability for RMNCAH + Nutrition +NTDs + NCDs

2. Intersectoral action by multiple stakeholders and Open Partnership

3. Health systems strengthening for UHC

4. Respect for equity and human rights and quality of care

5. Sustainable financing for primary healthcare

6. Scientific research and innovation including smart technology

7. Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation for UHC

8. Health Information, Literacy and Public engagement in the diverse African context


Health is a fundamental human right and a key indicator of sustainable development. Besides, Africa needs to gain critical traction towards this goal. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 2015-2030, demonstrate a stronger global commitment to health, underpinned by target 3.8 for Universal Health Coverage (UHC) that is premised on a vision of a future where all people and communities have access to needed quality health services without the risk of financial hardship. UHC at the center of action for SDG3, “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” presents a prospect to promote a far-reaching and coherent approach to health, beyond the control of individual diseases, to focus on how the health system delivers integrated, people-centered health services with strategic, sustainable and scalable financing and capacity to effectively respond to the challenges.

Now in its third year, the SDG3 alongside the 16 other goals have the potential to meet the urgent environmental, political and economic challenges facing our world.[1] They work in the spirit of partnership and pragmatism to make the right choices now to improve life, in a sustainable way, for future generations. They provide clear guidelines and target for all countries to adopt in accordance with their own priorities and the environmental challenges of the world at large. They tackle the root causes of poverty and unite us together to make a positive change for both people and the planet. This is important because poor health threatens the rights of children to education, restricts economic opportunities for men and women and escalates poverty within households, communities and countries around the world. In addition to being a cause of poverty, health is impacted by poverty and strongly connected to other aspects of sustainable development, including water and sanitation, gender equality, climate change and peace and stability. No person, family or community should become impoverished by the burden of ill health.

SDG3’s target 3.8 clearly points out the need to achieve Universal Health Coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all. To quote the UN Declaration on the SDGs that emphasizes that to achieve the overall health goal, ‘we must achieve universal health coverage (UHC) and access to quality healthcare. No one must be left behind’. This places UHC as the target that underpins and is key to the achievement of all the other health targets. The use of UHC to frame discussions on SDG3 helps make the health agenda more cohesive. Health is well placed in the SDGs. The health goal (SDG3) is broad: ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’. In addition, health is framed as a contributor to and beneficiary of sustainable development.

In order to accelerate progress towards UHC, all actors, including the private sector need to partner to develop health care solutions that work for people, families, communities and nations. At minimum business has a responsibility to respect all human rights, including the right to health. Small, medium and large companies can both benefit from and contribute to achieving healthy societies. The SDGs provide a new opportunity for the private sector to support the delivery of health needs around the world through their products, services and business activities including value chains and distribution networks, communication activities, occupational health and safety practices and provision of employee benefits. By ensuring that workers have safe working conditions and access to health services, companies establish healthier staff and better relationships which in many cases has positive effects on productivity.

The drive to achieve UHC in Africa may depend on how well health inequality is reduced through planning, developing and implementing health policies and implementation strategies that cater for the needs of underserved, vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized populations.

The Africa regional UHC movement is convening this conference with notable key stakeholders and the West African Academy of Public Health (WAAPH) a leading nonstate sub-regional health development organisation serving as secretariat for the Action 3.8 Conference, with secretariat technical lead support of Innovation and Access for Development Initiatives (IADI) a leading non-profit champion for Agenda 2030 using cost-effective technologies to leap-frog development. This is in collaboration with the UN SDGs Professional Support Group for Africa(UNSDGs-PSGA) with an amalgam of partners from public, private and development sectors.

Why Action 3.8 Conference?

The ACTION 3.8 CONFERENCE (UHC ACTION) is a needful approach to foster the effort towards achieving SDG 3 in Africa within accepted best buys for quick acceleration and impact, as well as highlighting innovative means for resource mobilization to strengthen the health systems in the region. UHC is a political decision and stakeholder alignment around it is important and also requires reinforcement for policymakers.[2]

Secondly, ACTION 3.8 CONFERENCE (UHC ACTION) is closely related to 9 other sustainable development goals, which further emphasizes its importance in the scheme of clusters with varied social determinants.

Thirdly, as a result of the increasing population in Sub-Saharan Africa, outbreaks of diseases such as Ebola, Lassa fever and others have brought about a tragic awakening of people not just in Africa but the world in general about the crucial importance of strong health systems and global health security. Africa’s bulging young population and how best to achieve demographic dividends. This calls for the need to promote discussions that will foster the realization of Sustainable development goal 3 (SDG3) across the region.

Finally, in view of audit reports from GAVI alliance and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria that has indicted governmental and non-governmental organisations in Africa, important outcomes of the ACTION 3.8 CONFERENCE (UHC ACTION) will include improved monitoring of funds expenditure by all stakeholders and development of a pre-funding corruption risk analysis template that assesses how vulnerable the sought for funds are to be diverted or misapplied.


The ACTION 3.8 CONFERENCE (UHC ACTION) would be a call to action through aggregation of broad international and regional stakeholders to accelerate the momentum towards delivering the SDGs, especially on the African continent, through shared evidence of good practices, learnings and success stories to inform policies.


To explore the ‘best buys’ for achieving UHC at the heart of SDG-3

To highlight innovative approaches to health care financing and policies

To promote accountability for RMNCAH + Nutrition and NCDs as critical to robust UHC delivery

To explore emerging approaches to advance the quality of care to ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’

To generate guidance acceleration framework for regional multi-country action around agencies and joint-learning

To achieve the best value for SDG 3 efforts in Africa.

Expected Outcomes:

The conference would create an opportunity for broad learning and sharing around action approaches towards achieving the SDGs with UHC, innovative financing for health, accountability for RMNCAH + Nutrition and NCDs plus the quality of care as the critical centerfold for gaining acceleration.

At the end of the conference, it is expected to generate guidance acceleration framework for regional multi-country action around agencies and joint-learning, Civil Society Organisations and other health organizations and non–health interfaces for sustainable and scalable strategic interventions towards UHC and ultimately SDG3.

The organizers look to stimulate placing health in all sectors of policy-making towards attaining UHC in the region; combining the strengths of multiple stakeholders. It also looks to strengthen conversations and action towards ensuring that disease-control programmes are embedded in a comprehensive health system that provides complete coverage through fully staffed and well-managed health services, and this will include financial risk protection with primary healthcare as the cornerstone of the health system, so that improving health for whole populations is about including all individuals (“leave no one behind”) and empowering women.

A number of factors would need to be considered in ensuring we track progress towards UHC and ultimately SDG 3 and all other health-related targets. These would include and not limited to: attracting new sources of funding; emphasizing domestic financing; with alignment of financial flows to avoid duplication of health system functions and reinforcing research and innovation as foundations for sustainable health development, including a balance of research on medical, social and environmental determinants and solutions, and leveraging on new technologies to manage large volumes of data, disaggregated to ascertain the needs of all individuals.



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HIFA Profile: Mohammed Maiwada Omar is a program associate with the West African Academy of Public Health in Nigeria and has a professional interest in Public Health.

Email address: bawuromazad AT