Witness Mapanga: The 2018 Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA) Conference (#PHASA208) ran under the theme ‘Health for All: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally’. The conference also celebrated and commemorated the 70th Anniversary of the World Health Organisation and the 40th Anniversary of the signing of the Alma Alta Declaration. The presentations and engagement were excellent, and they provided an opportunity for me to interact with a diverse group of public health professionals.
During the conference, I presented on three papers from my PhD project and one paper from our current work at CHP. The titles of the posters presented were:
· Improving the legislative system to enhance cervical cancer in Zimbabwe: time for an inclusive policy?
· Inclusion of young-boys and middle-aged HIV-positive women in HPV vaccination: opportunities and health systems challenges
· Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices of young people in Zimbabwe on Cervical Cancer and HPV
· Strategies to strengthen mental illness in PHC setting: Learning how to conduct an umbrella review and develop an Evidence Map
In between my presentations, I attended interesting discussions facilitated by the Health Policy and Systems Research Special Interest Group on: How Universal Health Coverage (UHC) can be achieved in South Africa, critically discussing on Health Systems in Crisis, and Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and the National Health Insurance (NHI). This was in part to generate ideas and for PHASA to make a submission on the NHI Bill. On the last day of the conference, the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, joined us to engage on the NHI and the government’s drive towards provision of UHC in South Africa.
Award at #PHASA208
As an icing on the cake, I was voted the winner of best dressed at the Sofia Town themed gala dinner hosted at the PHASA conference.