RHC2021 Programme

The RHC2021 will have a Face-to-Face programme at Shangri-La Hotel and a Virtual Conference with some sessions streamed from the venue.

RHC2021 Theme: Equity in Health Care 

People in rural areas should get the same services as people based in urban areas: the same quality, the same resources, and the same ease of access to services. To achieve this we have to be innovative in securing health professionals passionate about working rural, demand redistribution of resources, recognise that “rural is different” and determine how we can support service delivery and the health workers in rural areas.

Every year, the Rural Health Conference is organised around four streams, covering the key facets of achieving the right to health for rural populations. The annual conference theme adds the particular focus for the presentations, discussions and keynote speakers which fall under each stream. For all the speakers and abstracts open the RHC2021 Proceedings Final book  RHC2021 proceedings Final.pdf

  1. Building Rural Inter-professional Teams: Understanding our unique roles & shared responsibilities within the healthcare team is essential for delivering a comprehensive primary/district health care service and achieving universal health coverage. Rural healthcare workers often have the benefit of small teams and therefore unique opportunities for multidisciplinary learning and service delivery. Trans-disciplinary teamwork needs to begin at undergraduate level and continue through community service and afterward. Strong mentoring, supervision and leadership is needed for this to take place. Keynote: Dr Mayara Floss (Brazil)
  2. Health Systems Management: Wonderful health policies mean nothing unless they are translated into clear service packages in every province, with the resources to support their implementation.. Health systems management focuses on the budgeting and resources required for strengthening service delivery as well as governance structures, quality improvement measures and inter-sectoral partnerships. Strong management is vital for effective & efficient health care which narrows the service delivery gaps between urban & rural areas. Mark Heywood 
    After 25 years, by all indicators, rural health equity is still a long way off. However, the Covid-19 pandemic is a gamechanger of the wrong sort: creating deeper inequalities, impacting negatively on social determinants of health and exacerbating healthcare service provision in rural areas. What needs to be done to put rural health equity back on track and to accelerate change, and by who? Is the vision of rural health advocates bold enough? Failure to act fast will leave rural health in a perpetual race against the effects of climate change and future pandemics. The lecture will try to address some of these questions and suggest a pathway towards equity and equality. 
  3. Community engagement & the voice of end users: community engagement relates to working with the community around the health facility as well as the Department of Health working with user groups, health advocates, alternative health workers, and the professional associations to identify the health issues, health needs, and professional solutions that can be offered to ensure Universal Health Care for all our citizens. Keynote: Nthabiseng Sibisi 

    Traditional healing use is a big part of the black population health, about 80% of the poor and rural population makes use of it. Traditional leadership is the custodian of African indigenous practices, traditions, and customs in specific ethnic communities. Therefore, we nurses need to take cognisance of this central role and how it translates into community engagement around the rural health facility and the department of health if we are to add the voice of our end user and their truth/roots.

  4. Policy & Practice: we need to reach for the stars and say what is ideal, propose policy, interrogate policy and translate policy into effective practice. This can be done by identifying: Best Practice models of service delivery, the gaps between policy & practice, and educating NHI private practitioners in equity, DoH systems and DoH standard treatment guidelines. Solomon David Chomba

Clinical officers and Medical Assistants remain and will remain KEY players in health care system in Malawi and across the globe. Almost all (90%) of clinical work in Malawi are done by Clinical officers and Medical Assistants. It is high time that authorities and government consider recognizing these great men and women who have all along dedicated their time and passion in promoting quality health care while suffering in silence through unfair and unjustified remuneration and certification warranting the call for a clear academic and professional career pathway.

The conference programme also includes a number of other regular features and activities, including: 

The evenings are a great opportunity to network and informally share rural experiences.

We aim to get at least 16 CPD points for the conference, but the points are only determined once all the abstracts are confirmed.

CPD Certificates are sent by email after the conference once delegate payments have been confirmed.

We do post a draft programme closer to the conference but to guide you when booking flights and accommodation:

Day 1: 08.00 - 10.00 Main Registration & Exhibition
  10.00 - 13.00 Opening by Provincial DoH VIP , 1st Keynote Speaker
  14.00 - 17.00 Parallel Sessions
  17.00 - 19.00 Student AGM
  19.00 - 21.30 Informal Dinner & Networking
Day 2: 07.30 - 8.30 Registration & Exhibition
  08.30 - 10.30 Keynote Speakers
  10.30 - 11.30 Tea & Exhibition & Networking
  11.30 - 13.00 Parallel Sessions
  14.00 - 17.00 Parallel Sessions
  17.00 - 19.00 Meet & Greet and AGMs
  19.00 - 22.00 Gala Dinner & Awards
Day 3: 08.30 - 9.30 Registration & Exhibition
  09.30 - 10.30 Keynote Speaker
  10.30 - 11.30 Tea & Exhibition & Networking
  11.30 - 13.00 Parallel Sessions
  14.00 - 15.00 Parallel Sessions
  15.00 - 16.00 Influencing the future of Rural Health Care
  16.00 - 16.30 Presentation of prizes for Best Oral Presenter, Best Workshop Presenter, Best Posters, Best Student Presentation, Best of each professional group, Best exhibition.