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HST Blog

May 24
Celebrating Africa Month: A Continent of Diversity and Growth

By Mandisa Dlamini (HST Communications Assistant)

Africa Day.jpg

The month of May is recognised as Africa month – a time when the continent of Africa commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU). This year's celebration reflects on the progress made by the OAU in enhancing the lives of the African population. The theme of the 10th edition of Africa Month is Celebrating 30 Years of Freedom: Building a Better Africa and a Better World

Africa Month is celebrated to honour the rich cultural legacy, diversity, and historical accomplishments of the African continent and is an opportunity to reflect on the continent's progress, challenges, and goals. In 2024, the focus includes a number of important health projects that will improve public health and wellbeing across Africa.  

The World Health Organization Africa Region has introduced a comprehensive plan of action and targeted programmes aimed at addressing health challenges in Africa over the period 2023 to 2030. These efforts prioritise tackling health issues like TB, cervical cancer via HPV vaccination, and enhancing mental health services. They also emphasise the importance of resilient health systems capable of responding to both existing and new health risks.

A major effort is the African Health Initiative funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Under this programme, sub-Saharan African healthcare systems are supported by the development of partnerships and the application of comprehensive models of integrated primary healthcare. It highlights local ownership of health solutions, continuous learning processes, and local ownership of health solutions. To ensure long-lasting improvements to health, this calls for co-operation between regional administrations, academic institutions, and international funders.

Leading the way in research, strategic assistance for the execution of key health programmes, and building health systems are the main areas of concentration for the Health Systems Trust (HST), an organisation supporting the South African public health sector. HST has been crucial to the development of the country's healthcare system as the following projects illustrate; the Cervical Cancer (CCPAC) Project is a three-year Cervical Cancer Prevention, Access, and Control project in the Zululand District funded by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It facilitates  access to early screening, diagnostic procedures, treatment, and palliative care services within the district. The DO ART Demonstration Project offers comprehensive screening services, initiates ART (Antiretroviral Therapy), and provides continuous community-based management for ART patients in the eThekwini South and Nongoma Sub-districts of KwaZulu-Natal. The organisation's goal is to make Africa healthier and more equitable in terms of health.

Africa Month also features activities designed to enhance the appreciation for arts and culture, indirectly benefiting mental health by fostering community unity and cultural pride. The celebration includes events that showcase the continent's rich cultural heritage.

The health related activities during Africa Month 2024 highlight a comprehensive approach to improving health outcomes, strengthening health systems and addressing specific diseases to promoting mental health and cultural well-being.

Read more on Africa Month.



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