What is Covid-19 Teaching Us?
Who would have thought, as this year dawned, that mid-way through we would be reeling from the devastating effects of COVID-19 and making significant pivots in our work to adapt?
SPARC has had to adjust to this new reality. This has seen us move from physical to online engagements, providing a virtual platform for countries (consistent mix of policymakers, our technical partners and network of regional experts) to share lessons and experiences, with the goal of increasing awareness of strategic health purchasing (SHP), facilitating cross-country learning, supporting countries as they navigate their individual learning curves and providing reflections for future planning processes.
One lesson that stands out is that strategic purchasing is critical to the pandemic response in the face of previously existing health system challenges that still need to be addressed and limited funds. Governments are learning that they have to spend better. We have documented key messages from these engagements with panelists from Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana and Uganda. We continue to explore emerging issues and recently launched a monthly blog, ‘Reflections’ as an opportunity to pause and reflect on the themes of these virtual engagements
As I conclude, I am pleased to announce that we welcomed the first cohort of students to the UHC-SHP course, jointly provided by SPARC, Amref International University and Amref’s Institute of Capacity Development. Delivery was 100% virtual with faculty drawn from the three institutions, our technical partners and a regional network of experts.
As always, the conversation continues. Join our virtual engagements and drop us a note. We like hearing from you.
Stay safe and healthy,
Dr. Nkechi Olalere
Executive Director, SPARC