As many countries in Africa pursue healthcare reforms to achieve universal health coverage (UHC), the development of national accreditation systems and continuing professional development (CPD) have become increasingly common quality-enhancing strategies endorsed by key players, including Ministries of Health and private sector stakeholders. There have been some investments in health facilities and medical diagnostics laboratories in Africa, contributing to more interface between accreditation as a continuous quality improvement strategy in accelerating the overall goal of achieving UHC.
According to the World Bank, quality and safety are integral in achieving patient safety. Approaches such as performance-based financing, CPD, clinical audits, quality improvement processes, and accreditation have shown that quality can be improved in a relatively short time, even in highly constrained settings and without major additional investments in other health inputs.
While CPD is critical to quality assurance and maintaining healthcare systems worldwide, many health professionals practicing in Africa continue to face challenges to accessing continuing medical education.
Strategic partnerships can be leveraged to enhance accreditation and CPD programs which could contribute to accelerating UHC. There are multiple examples of innovative partnerships across the continent, ranging from social health franchises in East Africa to contracting specific services in North Africa and social marketing of health commodities in West Africa. However, moving from promising initiatives to scaled-up and cost-effective programs has proven challenging. Ensuring good quality services and products in the health sector will require investing in health governance, including a more robust regulatory framework, accreditation systems, and enforcement capacity. Achieving and sustaining such gains also requires additional policies that address some of the constraints of the system. These include common definition and monitoring of the quality of care, strengthening professional associations and regulatory bodies, increasing users' voices, and more inclusive governance and accountability systems for health facilities.
This roundtable will feature industry leaders to discuss how the U.S. and African governments and private sectors can collaborate to provide solutions that improve access and quality of care through best practices and partnerships focused on CPD, workforce development and accreditation.
Chief Executive Officer at Medland Health Services
Deputy Chief Executive Officer at King Faisal Hospital - Kigali
Director- Research and Evaluation at HRH2030 of URC
Director of Quality at PharmAccess Foundation
Chief Executive Officer at The Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa NPC (COHSASA)
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