From 5th-8th March, we participated in the Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) held in Kigali, Rwanda. The conference’s theme this year was “Resilient Health Systems for Africa: Re-envisioning the Future Now” and brought together Africa’s top thought leaders, political figures, innovators, researchers, policy makers, health workers and community mobilisers for dialogue and action aimed at mainstreaming climate discourse into health policy conversations, and vice versa.
Our Supervisory Board Chair, Ms. Sarbani Bhattacharya was part of the panel in the parallel session 8 “Saving Planet Earth: Engaging Africa’s Youth to Lead Climate action”. She explored how climate change adaptation and mitigation could be triggered by safe and sustainable sanitation and presented the preventive health aspects of sanitation, its influence on gender parity, financial inclusion and the role of youth in contributing to the circular economy and how this could influence the global response to the climate crisis. As Bhattacharya stated, the objective very clearly is “that people start realising and acknowledging the importance of sanitation in this cycle of health and climate impact”.
Our CEO, Valentin Post, also joined the conference to present FINISH Mondial’s contribution to preventative healthcare through safe sanitation. Like our Supervisory Board Chair, he insisted on the importance of creating linkages between sanitation, health and the climate. “No one really talks about WASH and climate, but we have to put preventive healthcare on the agenda firmly”, he said. We also had the opportunity to showcase our work at our AHAIC booth and were very pleased to attract so many delegates with interest in deepening the dialogue and partnerships.