Published: May 13th 2020


Public Health

Event Summary - ‘Voices from the frontline: sharing COVID-19 experiences from Africa and around the world’

Published: May 13th 2020

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.



As part of a collaboration between Bobab and Medixus called the COVID-19 Exchange, on Tuesday 12th May we hosted the first webinar in a series of four focused on exploring challenges, exchanging learnings and promoting best practice around the fight against COVID-19.

The first event, entitled ‘Voice from the frontline: sharing COVID-19 experiences from Africa and around the world’, featured presentations from a panel of expert speakers based in Kenya, the UK, Germany and the US. Our speakers included:

  • Dr. Paul Mbuvi - Deputy Head of Department (Accident & Emergency), Kenyatta National Hospital (Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Dr. Tanya Rogo - Paediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, BronxCare Health System; Clinical Assistant Professor of Paediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai (New York, US)
  • Prof. Dr. Charles Yankah - Professor of Surgery, Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery; Co-founder, German Heart Institute; Founder / CEO, Global Heart Forum; President of African Cultural Institute and Pan-African Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (Berlin, Germany)
  • Dr. Mark Slade - Consultant in Respiratory and General Internal Medicine, Cheltenham Hospital; Medical Director and Consultant Respiratory Physician and Clinical Director of Thoracic Services; Appraiser of Medical Directors, NHS (Cheltenham, UK)
  • Dr. Amit Thakkar - Exec. Chairman, African Health Business; President, African Healthcare Federation; Chairman, Kenya Healthcare Federation (Nairobi, Kenya)

Event Overview

Lord Paul Boateng chaired a fascinating discussion which saw Dr. Mbuvi share his insights from treating COVID-19 patients in Nairobi; Dr. Rogo provided some very interesting perspectives regarding the rates of paediatric transmission in New York; Dr. Yankah presented an excellent overview of the current infection rate across Africa, emphasising the potential impact of simple interventions such as masks and contact tracing of patients; Dr. Slade, sharing his experiences from the frontline in the UK, touched on a variety of important topics, including the need to look after medical professional teams mental and emotional well-being, as well as highlighting the difference between invasive ventilation and simple CPAP machines; and finally, our keynote speaker, Dr. Amit Thakkar, argued passionately for the need to mobilise the private sector in the fight against COVID-19. 

The speaker's presentation can be viewed in full here:

The full recording of the webinar can be found here. Please feel free to share with anyone you feel will benefit.

The next webinar in the series will take place on Tuesday 19th May at 1.00pm BST (2.00pm CET / 3.00pm EAT), followed by an additional two events. Click on the link below to register to attend:

Event 2

Tue 19th May: 1.00pm - 2.30pm (BST)

Mental Health Overview: Exploring the Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19

Event 3

 Tue 26th May: 1.00pm - 2.30pm (BST)

Business Unusual: Ensuring Continuity of Care With Remote Working

Event 4

 Tue 2nd June: 1.00pm - 2.30pm (BST)

Pandemics and Premiums: Financing COVID-19 Treatment and Recovery

And don’t forget, if you or your organisation is currently delivering a project, programme or initiative related to tackling COVID-19, you can upload your work directly onto our interactive projects map - it’s a great way to spread the word and promote what you’re doing to the global Bobab community.

Also, if you are interested in publishing an opinion piece, blog or interview related to COVID-19, we’d love to hear from you. Contact Nick Staite: nick[at]