Health Innovation Conference a Success

The Ugandan Academy for Health Innovation and Impact is proud to have launched and hosted the inaugural health innovations conference attended by 175 participants. The conference was graced by Hon. Dr Elioda Tumwesigye, the
Minister for Science Technology and Innovation, who presided over the closing of the ceremony and handed over the awards. The Ag. Director General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health, Dr Henry Mwebesa and Mr Kenneth Bagarukaho representing the ICT Permanent Secretary were present.

Various medical thought leaders, engineers, animators, representatives from the health ministry, Johnson and Johnson Global Public Health and Centres for Disease Control, Uganda were also in attendance.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Health, Dr Mwebesa lauded The Academy on the day’s forum saying: “The issues
that we have discussed and advanced today; issues related to innovations in health, HIV/TB, data confi dentiality and Uganda’s priorities, have given us lots to think about around innovations. Every one of us; from the ministry, development partners to academia. We need to learn from each other how to absorb innovations in our daily work.”

The Peta Pata Boys Club, a community-based group, headed by Simon Peter Ebonga, emerged as winner of the National Ideas Competition. They scooped two awards in the fi rst and third place for HIV animations project for youth in and out of school and the HIV/TB single doubletesting strip respectively. Hon. Tumwesigye off ered to scale up
and support one of the innovative ideas in order to curb the spread of HIV and TB.

Various innovations, such as breast feeding mechanisms for mothers who do not have enough breast milk and artifi cial blood were discussed. Connect for LifeTM was also lauded in the media as making strides towards increasing adherence to drugs.

The handover of the innovations award concluded a process that began in November 2017, when, through an advertisement in the New Vision, The Ugandan Academy for Health Innovations and Impact made a call for submissions for ideas and abstracts.

Various presenters were able to showcase their work either through exhibition or poster presentation and 4-minute
“lightning” talks. Richard Brough, the Executive Director of Infectious Diseases Institute, where The Academy
is incubated, emphasised the importance of trusted institutions, such as the Academy, in building resilient innovations for the health sector.