HPRG hosts Health Economics and Policy Network in Africa (HEPNet) 2010 International Workshop in Abuja 2010
The Health Policy Reseach Group (HPRG) Enugu successfully hosted the 2010 International Workshop of the Health Economics and Policy Network in Africa (HEPNET) for Africa in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria from November 29th - December 1st 2010. Delegates from Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Sweden were in attendance. Representatives of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Donor Agencies, NGOs, Researchers, Policy Analysts, and Health Economists participated. The theme for the workshop was on the “National Responses to Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases in Africa” and abstracts were received from over 20 participants who presented papers at the event.
The 2010 workshop was memorable in several ways. For instance, the meeting coincided with the 2010 Abuja Carnival which through which the culture of Nigeria is showcased in its diverse forms. The quality of papers presented was high and the social events introduced by the HPRG added spice to the program and this helped in strengthening the bond among the members. Participants from other African countries had the opportunity visiting some landmark places in Abuja as well experiencing the best of local Nigerian cuisine, cultural dances and folk drama in an ambient environment.
The international workshop in Nigeria would be the last in the series since HEPNET as an organization would be winding up by the end of 2010 having been active since 2000. HEPNet served as a network that brought together health economists and policy analysts from 37 institutions in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe and it was set up to build in-depth expertise in health economics and health policy analysis in order to improve health systems in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Though HEPNet as a network is winding up in the participating countries, some of its activities would continue in Nigeria. According to the HEPNet Secretariat at the Health Economics Unit of the University of Cape Town, a follow-up project may likely succeed HEPNet which was established through the funding support received from Swedish SIDA to develop local capacity in health economics and policy in the participating African countries.
HEPNet members were encouraged to maintain and sustain the already established networks among themselves, and it is instructive to note that some members of the network from different countries in Africa have started seeking for opportunities to collaborate in research projects in their respective countries.