Helga Fogstad

Executive Director, PMNCH

Helga Fogstad is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH). Strongly committed to human rights, public health and gender issues, Ms. Fogstad has extensive experience in forging partnerships for the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents. She is a health economist with more than 30 years of public health experience, which includes developing countries at the sub-national, national and global levels.  Prior to PMNCH, Ms. Fogstad was the Director of the Department of Global Health, Education and Research at the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), where she guided the rapid scale-up of proven cost-effective interventions focused on the health MDGs for women and children. In this capacity, she was actively engaged in political mobilization and advocacy initiatives, including the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Helga continues to be involved on many Boards and committees as an active advocate and influencer in the global health sector.

4:00pm – 5:00pm EAT

Monday, 8 March 2021 Day 1

Plenary 1: Leadership for Change: Africa's Journey to UHC

COVID-19 is an acute reminder of what is at stake if we don’t achieve UHC. Africa is at a crucial juncture where the region is grappling with inadequate health systems and insufficient funds for health care to cater to its population’s needs. Adding to this is the impact of a crippling pandemic that has presented the region with the combined challenges of social and economic recovery and highlighted the urgent leadership needed to solve the continent’s most complex health challenges. This session will bring together health leaders from across the continent for thought-provoking discussions on how they see themselves shaping the UHC agenda in Africa over the next decade. This session will celebrate examples of strong leadership driving Africa’s health agenda forward; amplify the need for strong policies and investment in lateral programs, like UHC, in addition to vertical programs; and discuss opportunities that governments and partners can leverage to increase investments toward UHC efforts.