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The ‘Africa Hub’
Realizing that both the HEALTH Alliance and FHS had similar agenda, namely to improve Health Systems Research capacity in low income countries, discussions were initiated, specifically on how the two could work together to achieve their separate and yet related objectives. Following these discussions, it was agreed that the Schools of Public Health that make up the HEALTH Alliance, together with the Future Health Systems (FHS) Consortium would work collaboratively to develop capacity in health systems research (HSR) in the region. This work was to be done under a new arrangement- the AFRICA HUB. Currently, AFRICA HUB is funded by Department for International Development (DFID) U.K through the FHS Consortium. The goal of the Africa Hub is to build capacity for and generate rigorous and high quality research to improve health systems.

The Future Health Systems (FHS) Consortium

Future Health Systems is a research consortium working to improve access, affordability and quality of health services for the poor. It is a partnership of leading research institutes from across the globe working in a variety of contexts: in low-income countries (Bangladesh, Uganda), middle-income countries (China, India) and fragile states (Afghanistan) to build resilient health systems for the future. FHS is funded coordinated by Johns-Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA and is funded mainly by the UK Department of International Development (DFID).

The HEALTH Alliance

Legally established in 2008, the Higher Education for Leadership Training in Health (HEALTH) Alliance is a coalition of Schools of Public Health in the East and Central African region, with membership from the universities of Nairobi (Kenya), Moi (Kenya), Muhimbili (Tanzania), Kinshasa (DRC), Rwanda, Jimma (Ethiopia) and Makerere (Uganda). Initially established through Higher Education for Development (HED) with a grant from USAID to provide leadership and management training for these Schools of Public Health; the HEALTH Alliance has gradually broadened its activities to include work on the linkages between animal, human and environmental health (One Health), and district level disaster response and management training through the Health Emergency Management Project (HEMP).
The philosophy of the HEALTH Alliance emphasizes the development of capacity across the schools through building linkages and promoting the exchange of ideas and resources. Governance and leadership is provided through bi-annual meetings of the Deans of all seven Schools of Public Health, during which decisions on priority work areas for the HEALTH Alliance occur. The alliance is being coordinated by the school of Public Health, Makerere University, Uganda.

Administrative structure of the Africa HUB

Each SPH in the Africa hub is headed by a Dean who is responsible for the Africa hub activities at that School. To help them achieve this, each Dean appoints a Focal person who is responsible for offering leadership and spearheading implementation of Hub activities and programs at that institution. The forum of Deans from all the SPH is the highest decision making organ of the hub, offering strategic direction. The over-all coordination and day-to-day running of the Africa-Hub is with Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) that hosts the secretariat.

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