HEARD researcher, Mike Strauss, recently attended the 10th African Health Economics and Policy Association Biennial Conference in Accra, Ghana.
He was among the health economists, public health and health policy researchers and experts engaging on the important theme: “Securing primary healthcare for all: the foundation of Universal Health Coverage in Africa”.
“It was useful to understand the prevailing discourse and the current economic and policy approaches to increasing access to healthcare and financial risk protection, as well as engaging with the debates about how to secure better health for people living in Africa,” said Strauss.  As a key role-player in advancing health economics and policy research in Eastern and Southern Africa, HEARD is well aligned with the Association’s mission which is to promote and strengthen the application of health economics and health policy analysis with the ultimate purpose of ensuring health equity in Africa.
Strauss said he found particularly interesting the increasingly strong links between African and Asian countries which have not only been pioneering in their approach to UHC, but also in their willingness to build partnerships. “There were some interesting presentations and a training workshop on measuring financial risk and catastrophic out-of-pocket expenditure for healthcare, which were useful for understanding current approaches to measurement of progress towards UHC. There were also a number of stimulating conversations with researchers and academics outside of the conference sessions around key issues relating to UHC, health financing and health systems,” he said.
Strauss’ own presentation was on HEARD’s work exploring preference structures for self-testing to increase HIV testing uptake.