Call for abstracts

Fifth AfHEA Scientific Conference to be held in Accra, Ghana, from 11 to 14 March 2019

The African Health Economics and Policy Association (AfHEA) is pleased to invite experts, analysts, practitioners and researchers in the relevant health fields to submit abstracts for the fifth Scientific Conference in Accra, Ghana from 11 to 14 March, 2019. The next conference also marks the 10th anniversary of AfHEA.

The broad theme of the conference is: Securing PHC for all: the foundation for making progress on UHC in Africa

This broad theme acknowledges the important role of PHC in the achievement of UHC. Strengthening PHC improves equity, accessibility and quality of care. Similarly, UHC ensures access to needed good quality health services irrespective of ability to pay. The two are therefore closely related. PHC is the main gateway to healthcare for the majority of the population, especially for those living in rural and underserved communities. A well-functioning PHC system will be able to respond to the health care needs of most of the population, including preventive, promotive and non-specialist clinical care, at a much lower cost than if similar services were provided at higher levels of the health care system. Thus securing PHC for all is a more cost-effective way to move towards the UHC agenda of any country, particularly for low income and lower middle income countries (LICs/LMICs) where the resource constraints are most severe.

Health Economics, Public health and Health Policy researchers in particular are encouraged to submit abstracts on this broad theme or indeed on any other interesting, innovative, or topical African health sector or systems research which upon selection by our scientific committee may be presented orally or in poster format at the conference.

Proposals for organized sessions are also invited from interested individuals or institutions.

An organized session must have a session organizer, who will describe the overall session in the session abstract, and a maximum of five individual abstracts describing the individual presentations of the session, as per the organized session structure described further below.

Please note however that we do not accept proposals for plenary sessions.

Abstracts may be submitted in English or French and must be structured as follows:

Structure of individual abstracts

  • Title of paper
  • Name, institutional affiliation, phone number and e-mail address of presenting author
  • Names of co-authors
  • 400-word maximum structured abstract in plain text or MS Word format (PDFs will be rejected), which indicates the background, aims and objectives of the research, the methods used, the key findings and the main conclusion(s). Abstracts submitted in MS Word must be in Times New Roman, font size 12.

 

Authors should submit individual abstracts online at http://afhea.org/en/conferences/afhea-2019/submit-individual-abstracts no later than 31 August 2018.

 

Structure of proposals for organized sessions

 

  • Title of organized session
  • Principle organizer (Name, institutional affiliation, phone number and email address)
  • Co-organizers (Names, institutional affiliations and email addresses)
  • Session abstract: 400-word maximum structured abstract in MS Word format (PDFs will be rejected) that provides a summary of the session
  • Abstract of each paper (max 400 words in plain text or MS Word format): should include the aims and objectives of the paper and the key findings (do not include annexes). The maximum number of papers allowed for each session is 5. Abstracts submitted in MS Word must be in Times New Roman, font size 12.   

 

The proposals for organized sessions should be submitted online at http://afhea.org/en/conferences/afhea-2019/organised-session-abstract. The deadline for submission of proposals for organized sessions is 30 November 2018.

 

Note that there are different online submission forms for individual and organized session abstracts and the correct form must be used. All abstracts submitted will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee.

 

Innovation in the Review Process

To ensure a high scientific standard of the presentations at the conference, a new quality assurance process which is consistent with the capacity building goal of AfHEA is being introduced in the review of abstracts.


 - Unlike previous scientific conferences where abstracts were either accepted or rejected, the upcoming conference categorizes reviewed abstracts as follows:

  • Accept category: abstracts that meet all the set criteria and for which the reviewers have no doubt about their high standard
  • Revise category: abstracts that can be markedly improved after addressing comments given by reviewers or for which the scientific committee judges that there is not enough basis from the abstract alone to make a firm determination of the likely suitability and quality of the final presentation.
  • Reject category: abstracts that do not meet the set criteria and which reviewers find are of a low standard

 

- Further, this categorization accords junior researchers, whose abstracts would otherwise be rejected, to benefit from a mentorship process (described below) and hence an opportunity to present a quality paper in an international conference. The quality of the presentation of studies whose abstracts fall into the ‘Revise category’ will be improved through the following QA process:

 

- Mentorship of junior researchers: mentorship support (virtual and face-to-face) will be offered to junior researchers to help improve their abstracts and presentations.

  • Presenters will be required to submit their draft PPT presentations, before the conference, for review by the reviewers. Reviewed abstracts and presentations will be returned to presenters by 18th January 2019
  • Such authors may further be asked to make mock presentations on the first day of the conference (before the conference sessions begin).


Such a process is consistent with AfHEA’s goal of capacity building for junior colleagues.

 

Participation in the mentorship and revision processes is voluntary but AfHEA reserves the right to reject an abstract outright should the author(s) refuse to take advantage of the above quality assurance process.

 

The abstract submissions received for the conference (individual and organized session) will inform the organization of the parallel sessions and AfHEA reserves the right to determine the technical composition of those sessions. Applicants for individual abstracts will be notified of reviewers’ decision on their abstracts by 31 October 2018 while organized session applicants will be notified no later than 31 December 2018.

 

Sub themes:

Sub-Theme 1: Health system strengthening: includes investment in healthcare infrastructure in Africa, health workforce including – production, distribution, motivation and retention of health workers; ensuring sustainable access to medicines and medical products; quality of care, availability of PHC services, efficient use of resources, organization of health services, health information systems and research; leadership and governance

Sub-Theme 2: The effectiveness of aid in the building of health systems including the role of aid in the provision of PHC services, the extent to which aid strengthens health systems; conditions and use of aid money in capacity building, the extent to which aid aligns to national priorities in African countries.

Sub-Theme 3: PHC and Healthcare financing: including method of financing of PHC services in African economies, sustainability of PHC financing method; the ability to create fiscal space, financing strategies to reduce inequity and to increase financial risk protection, strategic purchasing.


Sub-Theme 4: Factors affecting access to healthcare and Efforts/challenges in securing PHC: equity in access to PHC services; equity in allocation of resources; innovations in reaching the hard to reach populations; improving access in crisis settings; efficiency in the use of healthcare resources. What are some innovative methods used to improve access to PHC especially in hard to reach areas

Theme 5: Key methodological changes in health economics and policy analysis specific to Africa including data accessibility challenges, economic modeling for complex systems, uptake of evidence from economic and policy analyses.

Theme 6: The role of research institutions and donors in building capacity in health economics and policy analysis, including for example, advocacy for broader consideration of economic principles by policymakers, skills required for economic assessments and policy analysis in Africa, gaps not addressed by current university programs, and the importance of collaboration for skills sharing.

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