The International Institute for Primary Health Care (IPHC-E) in collaboration with the Ethiopian Ministry of Health (MoH-E) and supported by the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health is thrilled to announce the upcoming conference on PHC. The Conference follows the successful pre-conference that was attended by more than 500 participants from over 80 countries.
Dr Githinji Gitahi is the Group CEO of Amref Health Africa, the largest health development international NGO headquartered in Africa, delivering health access to more than 20 million people in over 35 countries. Dr Gitahi is renown as a leader on the global and regional front with notable achievements – including co-chairing the global UHC2030 movement; serving on the Commission on Africa’s COVID-19 Response; serving as a member of the Governing Board of Africa CDC and was recently appointed to the Board of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). He also serves on the Board of The Standard Group in Kenya and the Board of Trustees of Safaricom Foundation. He is a vocal advocate for pro-poor Universal Health Coverage and leads the largest thought leadership convening on the African health agenda.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was elected WHO Director-General for a five-year term by
WHO Member States at the Seventieth World Health Assembly in May 2017, and was re-
elected to a second term in May 2022 during the Seventy-Fifth World Health Assembly. Dr
Tedros was the first WHO Director-General elected from among multiple candidates by the
World Health Assembly, and was the first person from the WHO African Region to head the
world’s leading public health agency.
Born in the Eritrean city of Asmara, Dr Tedros graduated from the University of Asmara with
a Bachelor of Biology, before earning a Master of Science (MSc) in Immunology of Infectious
Diseases from the University of London, a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Community
Health from the University of Nottingham and an Honorary Fellowship from the London
School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Following his studies, Dr Tedros returned to Ethiopia to support the delivery of health
services, first working as a field-level malariologist, before heading a regional health service
and later serving in Ethiopia’s federal government for over a decade as Minister of Health
and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
As Minister of Health from 2005 to 2012, he led a comprehensive reform of the country’s
health system, built on the foundation of universal health coverage and provision of services
to all people, even in the most remote areas.
Under his leadership, Ethiopia expanded its health infrastructure, developed innovative
health financing mechanisms, and expanded its health workforce. A major component of
reforms he drove was the creation of a primary health care extension programme that
deployed 40 000 female health workers throughout the country. A significant result was an
approximate 60% reduction in child and maternal mortality compared to 2000 levels.
As Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2012 to 2016, he elevated health as a political issue
nationally, regionally and globally. In this role, he led efforts to negotiate the Addis Ababa
Action Agenda, in which 193 countries committed to the financing necessary to achieve the
Sustainable Development Goals.
Prior to his election as Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros held many leadership positions
in global health, including as Chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and
Malaria, Chair of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and Co-chair of the Partnership for
Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Board.
After taking office as WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros initiated the most significant
transformation in the Organization’s history, which has generated a wide range of
A Rwandan economist and former Finance Minister, Dr. Kaberuka is the 7th President of the African Development Bank (2005-2015). He is credited for expanding the reach and impact of AfDB, Africa’s premier financial institution during his two terms as President. Kaberuka is currently the African Union High Representative for Financing, the Peace Fund and COVID19 response. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of several organisations and think tanks including the Rockefeller Foundation, Center for Global Development, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, The Brookings Institution and the London School of Economics. He
serves on the International Advisory Council of Standard Chartered Bank and Co-Chair of Council on State Fragility. He was also nominated in 2017 to Chair the panel on the third External Evaluation of the International Monetary Fund. Since retiring from the African Development Bank, he is Chairman and Managing Partner of SouthBridge a financial and investment advisory firm which he co-founded. He is a Member of the UN High-Level Independent Panel on the Sahel.
Nicole Spieker is a healthcare professional with more than 17 years on the ground experience in Africa. A scientist by training, she has focused her career on developing and scaling innovative models for change that drive inclusive quality healthcare, especially for the vulnerable and the poor.
She is the CEO of PharmAccess, an international not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening health systems in sub-Saharan Africa. PharmAccess’ mission is to create access to affordable, quality healthcare for low-income groups. This is achieved through the introduction of standards, the creation of health insurance systems, and provision of affordable loans to private clinics. Mobile and digital technology are considered key transformational elements in achieving UHC. At the core is the M-TIBA mobile health wallet, which connects patients, payers and providers. M-TIBA helps create new digital solidarity mechanisms where people start paying for each other, and efficiently channels funding to target groups at very low transaction costs.
Dr Spieker is also the founder of SafeCare. The SafeCare approach is based on internationally acknowledged (ISQua) quality standards and dissects the improvement process of primary healthcare providers in survey-able, measurable steps. The methodology has been adopted by public and private partners in over 15 African countries.
Prior to this, Dr Spieker was Director of clinical support services at the Aga Khan Health Services, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and assistant professor at Aga Khan University. She holds a PhD in Molecular Genetics of the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
A public health physician with over 35 years of experience in clinical service, program management, training, and operation research both in government and non-governmental organizations. He is currently the Senior Country Director for Pathfinder International in Ethiopia. In addition, he was the Chief of Party for the Transform: Primary Health care project, a $124 million USAID flagship FP/MNCH program led by Pathfinder International in Ethiopia contributing to Preventing Childhood and Maternal Deaths (PCMD). In different occasions, Mengistu served as an expert in global discussions for FP/HIV integration, community-based family planning, long-acting family planning, community health workers, cervical cancer prevention, and adolescent issues.
Prior to joining Pathfinder, Mengistu worked at various levels of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health and non-governmental organizations.
In a voluntary capacity, he has served as the president of the EPHA (2006-2009), president for the World Federation of Public Health Associations (2014-2016), member and Chair of the Hamlin Fistula Ethiopia Board of Trustee (2016-todate) and is a multiple Paul Harris Fellow (PHF) Rotarian.
He has an MD at Gondar College of Medical Sciences, Addis Ababa University and an MPH at Addis Ababa University. He authored and co-authored over 60 scientific and technical papers in peer reviewed journals and technical publications.
Dr Rasanathan is the Executive Director of the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research at WHO in Geneva, Switzerland. He is a public health physician with a strong background in health policy and systems research and extensive experience working at different levels of the World Health Organization and within the wider UN system. During his almost 25 years working in health systems, career highlights have included serving as Incident Manager for WHO for the COVID-19 response in Cambodia, helping to drive the development of the Sustainable Development Goal health agenda while at UNICEF, contributing to the work of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, co-writing the 2008 WHO World Health Report on primary health care, and running meningococcal vaccine trials that enabled vaccine licensure and roll-out in New Zealand.
Dr Rasanathan served as an elected board member of Health Systems Global from 2016-2020, was a Rockefeller Foundation Global Fellow in Social Innovation from 2013-2014 and is a member of the Forum on Microbial Threats of the US National Academy of Medicine
Aboubacar Kampo is a seasoned humanitarian professional who has worked in various countries and held several leadership positions in the field of health and development. He is currently serving as a Representative at UNICEF Ethiopia since January 2023.
Previously, he served as the Director of Program Health at UNICEF in New York, United States; Representative of UNICEF in Afghanistan, and in Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).
Aboubacar Kampo has also held several other leadership positions at UNICEF, including Chief of Health in Nigeria, and Chief YCSD in Zimbabwe. He started his career at UNICEF as a Health Specialist in the Greater New York City Area.
Before joining UNICEF, Aboubacar Kampo worked as a Country Manager at International Medical Corps in Afghanistan, and as a Roving Technical Advisor in Washington D.C. He also served as an EHA Focal Point at the World Health Organization in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and as a Country Medical Director and Project Coordinator at Merlin in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo respectively.
With his extensive experience and expertise in the field of health and development, Aboubacar Kampo has played a crucial role in improving the lives of vulnerable communities around the world.
Damen Haile Mariam is a Professor of Public Health and Health Economics at the School of Public Health, Addis Ababa University, and is also registered as a Consultant Community Health Specialist with the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia. In addition, he is a fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (EAS) and the current Dean of the School of Public Health at Addis Ababa University.
Rachel Deussom, Health Practice Director at Chemonics International, is a health workforce expert with nearly 20 years of experience focusing on health systems, community health, digital Health, HIV/AIDS, and maternal and child health. She has led teams and provided technical and operations support across Africa and Asia, contributing to USAID, World Bank, and Gates-funded initiatives. Ms. Deussom has developed strategies, tools and implemented human resources for health strengthening interventions in the areas of pre-service education, retention, productivity and performance, community engagement, supply chain management, gender, and sustainable financing. She is an alumna of WomenLift Health, held an adjunct faculty position at George Washington University, and is a trained doula. Ms. Deussom has a B.A. in French from Georgetown University and an M.S. in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. Her work aims to ensure that everyone can access high-quality care from health worker teams and live healthier, more productive lives.
Dorothy Mwengei is a health systems specialist with over 15 years experience in both the public and private sectors. She has extensive experience in designing, implementing, and leading the scale-up of various primary health programs. Dorothy holds a diploma in clinical medicine and surgery, degree in social sciences and masters in development studies and in pursuit in masters health economics and policy
Dr. Atul Gawande is the Assistant Administrator for Global Health. He is a renowned surgeon, writer, and public health leader. Prior to joining the Biden-Harris Administration, he was a practicing general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
He was founder and chair of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and of Lifebox, a nonprofit making surgery safer globally. He also co-founded CIC Health, a public benefit corporation supporting pandemic response operations nationally, and served as a member of the Biden transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.
From 2018-2020, he was CEO of Haven, the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase healthcare venture.
In addition, Atul was a longtime staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and has written four New York Times best-selling books: Complications, Better, The Checklist Manifesto, and Being Mortal.
He is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the winner of two National Magazine Awards, AcademyHealth’s Impact Award for highest research impact on healthcare, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Award for writing about science.