Maintaining Essential Health Service Delivery in light of COVID-19

Thursday, July 23, 2020


Overcoming the COVID-19 crisis and adapting to the changes that it will inevitably bring will require bold leadership and capable management. What are leaders doing to ensure that we both respond to the direct threat of COVID-19 and maintain essential health services so that we do not stall our progress towards key health goals? What steps do leaders have to take now to recover from the impact of COVID-19 and to strengthen health systems for the future? On Thursday, July 23 at 11:00am ET, the Aspen Global Innovators Group hosted a conversation about the importance of maintaining essential health service delivery in the midst of a global pandemic. The conversation featured Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance and former Minister of Health of Botswana, and Dr. Andrew Silumesii, Director of Public Health, Zambia Ministry of Health. It was moderated by Dr. Robert Newman, Director of AMP Health.

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Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance

The Honorable Joy Phumaphi is the Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, a position she has held since 2010, and the former Minister of Health of Botswana. She is currently Co-Chair of the UN Secretary General’s Independent Accountability Panel for Women Children and Adolescent health. In past years, she served as a Member of Parliament holding portfolio responsibility in the cabinet, first for Lands and Housing, and then for Health. At Health, she restructured the ministry to make it more focused on results while overseeing revision of the Public Health Act. Joy later joined the World Health Organization as the Assistant Director General for Family and Community Health. She was responsible for the 2005 World Health Report, “Making Every Mother and Every Child Count”. She has also served as Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank where she oversaw the introduction of health results based financing. She is also a member of the Women’s Leadership Initiative for Microbicides and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Advisory Panel for Global Health, among other notable work. She is a board member of The Global Health Council, Save the Children International, the Africa American Institute, and a trustee of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

Dr. Andrew Silumesii, Director of Public Health, Zambia Ministry of Health

Dr. Andrew Silumesii has been the Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health Zambia since September 2017. His role involves providing strategic direction, oversight, and coordination of public health programs which include HIV, TB, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Reproductive Health, Adolescent Health, Child Health, the Expanded Programme for Immunization, Nutrition and Community Health. Dr. Silumesii holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, all obtained from the University of Zambia. In addition, he holds a Master of Science in Public Health, with an orientation in Health Systems Management and Policy, from the Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Antwerp, Belgium. He also holds a Higher Diploma in Health Services Management from the National Institute of Public Administration in Lusaka. Prior to his current position, Dr. Silumesii served as Provincial Health Director for North-Western and Western Provinces. His journey in health leadership and management began in 2005 when he was appointed to the position of Executive Director of Lewanika General Hospital. This was the beginning of a passion and a career dedicated to managing health services and leading people towards achieving improved health outcomes.