The Geneva Health Forum kicks off from 16 November

The Geneva Health Forum kicks off from 16 November

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

The Geneva Health Forum will hold its 8th Edition from November 16 - 18 2020 and IAPO will be hosting the following two events:

Promoting expert patients as co-creators and disseminators: Prior, during and after the pandemic

16 November 2020, 15:15 – 16:15 CET
This session will aim to provide regional experiences of meaningful and effective engagement of expert patients as co-creators and disseminators of health policies, service delivery and follow-up, and to open a discussion channel on challenges and potential opportunities for structured approach in use of patients’ experience and expertise across the entire spectrum of healthcare.
The panel will include:
  1.  Karen Alparce-Vilanueva, IAPO Board Secretary, UK and PAPO, Philippines
  2. Prof. Thomas Agoritsas, Department of Internal Medicine, HUG
  3. Bisi Bright, LiveWell Initiative LWI, Nigeria
  4. Prim Dr Neda Milevska-Kostova, Board Vice-Chair, IAPO, UK 
It is now clear that in order to achieve most SDG3 targets,thet patients play a key role. Underlying this achievement is universal access to and uptake of quality, affordable health services (SDG target 3.8), with the large majority delivered close to where people live and work (i.e. primary care). Most parts of the world have seen expansion in the access to health services and coverage of key interventions over the last two decades. There have also been notable improvements in financial protection. 
Yet, in many countries, large coverage gaps remain, and the COVID-19 slowed down or halted these processes. The current pandemic is a test for health systems and the universal health coverage achievement. The key to dealing with today’s public health challenges and changing landscape is not to change strategic direction – but to transform the way health and social services are organized, funded and delivered.
For health access and coverage to be truly universal, it calls a shift from health systems designed around diseases and health institutions towards systems designed for people, with people. The people/patient-centred approach requires patient engagement at all stages of the process from the design to evaluation: from research to implementation, from health policy to service delivery, and from recipients to co-creators.
Modern patient advocates need motivation, knowledge, skills, attitudes and ability to engage in all these steps in order to be effective co-designers, co-producers
and co-deliverers of patient centric health systems.
Join us as we explore the following questions:
  • Is there a panacea to patient engagement in health technology assessment?
  •  What are current challenges for patient involvement across the continuum of care?
  •  Are patients’ experiences and expertise sufficiently captured and used by academia, authorities and industry?
  • How can we promote the role of expert patients as co-creators and disseminators?

The Africa Medicines Agency, an important step towards increasing timely availability and access to medicinal products for patients in Africa

18 November 2020, 12:30 – 13:30 CET 
Co- hosting this session with the International Federation of Pharmaceuticals Manufacturers and Associations the session will explore the benefits of establishing the African Medicines Agency (AMA) and what is preventing the signing and ratification of the Treaty to establish the AMA.
The speakers:
  1. Moderator: Catherine Fiankan Bokonga
  2. Mimi Darko, Ghana FDA
  3. Hiiti Sillo, WHO
  4. Margaret Ndomondo-Sigonda, AUDA
  5. Karim Bendhaou, IFPMA Africa Engagement Committee Chair
  6. Ellos lodzeni, IAPO
The vision for Africa, particularly in the post Covid-19 world, is that people in every corner of Africa, have timely access to safe, effective, quality medicines, vaccines, medical devices, diagnostics and technology. The increased burden of infectious, neglected tropical, communicable and non-communicable disease is growing rapidly in Africa, coupled with the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance and pandemics.
All medicinal products require effective regulation and multi-disciplinary approaches from appropriate training and capacity building right through to manufacturing and regulatory agility, inspections, effective safety surveillance and ultimately timely access for patients.
The key to optimising sustainability in the supply of medicinal and healthcare products for diseases disproportionately affecting Africa includes a fully established Africa Medicines Agency (AMA), and once the fifteenth country in Africa has ratified the Treaty, the AMA will come into existence.
It will foster regulatory system strengthening and reliance across Africa towards faster and expanded access to medicines, vaccines and biotherapeutics for patients. AMA will coordinate existing regulatory harmonisation efforts in the region and provide regulatory guidance, scientific opinions and a common framework. 
The rapid rise of digital health technology promises to deliver medicinal and healthcare products more equitably across Africa. Regulators can streamline approval and procurement of new medicines through secure regulatory harmonisation and adoption of electronic platforms and tools.
People in Africa should have timely access to medicines and to ensure this, consistency and predictability of regulatory systems are needed. This can be achieved through centralising the expertise and optimising the use of scarce resources for review of medicines or conducting inspections. Sound regulatory systems are critical for protecting public health against use of medicinal products which do not meet international standards of quality, safety and efficacy. A consequence of weak or absent regulatory systems is the scourge of falsified and substandard medical products. 
One of the key elements for future success of the AMA is to provide an enabling regulatory environment and an effective application of the principle of regulatory reliance. This will need to be underpinned by strengthened governance, regulatory systems, and harmonization efforts across the continent and investment by stakeholders and governments. Equally important is that patient groups and communities have a voice in these developments and participation in the AMA activities.
Follow and join the buzz on social media  using the hashtag #ghf20

Free tickets for IAPO Members and partners to attend the Geneva Health Forum 

As an exclusive offer for  IAPO Members and partners, we have a limited number of free tickets for the Geneva Health Forum. IAPO is delighted to be one of the special guests alongside the International Council of Nurses and we would like to invite our members to join us. 

Please contact as soon as possible in case you would be interested in joining us at GHF. 

More information at