The Public Health Youth Symposium (PHYS) is an avenue for public health practitioners and professionals to communicate connect and collaborate on pertinent public health needs and challenges at local national and international level. It is a gathering of public health practitioners and partners from government, academia, civil society organizations and the corporates that share a common interest and dedication in protecting, preventing and promoting the health of the populations in Uganda.

The Symposium seeks to turn young people into advocates, activists, champions and change agents by empowering them with information and skills on Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV and AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Management, Human Rights, Project Planning and Management, Evidence-Based Advocacy, Communication, Social Entrepreneurship and Critical thinking using a problem-solving and learning environment. In addition to the above, young people will also gain leadership skills, networking skills, analytical skills, interpersonal skills, and teamwork skills.

The symposium targets over 500 Public health students (undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral), healthcare professionals, members of the academia, researchers, policymakers, and representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and from the professional bodies that regulate Public Health practice.

Why the Public Health Youth Symposium?

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving UHC, and strategies will depend on local circumstances and national dialogues. The objectives of the symposium will include;

  • To foster new ideas and home-grown solutions to the country’s most pressing health challenges with a focus on achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Uganda by 2030.
  • To map a pathway from commitment to action on UHC and build momentum among diverse stakeholders, policymakers, civil society, technical experts, innovators, private sector, thought leaders, and young people/ leaders.
  • To provide safe space for young people to voice and participate in critical discussions on the future of health decision making and ensure that youth have a say in the policies affecting their health and futures, and to ultimately inform policymakers’ approaches to including youth in UHC service delivery and implementation.
  • To provide a platform to enable young people to foster the exchange of good practices, strategies, and commitments from youth organizations and networks to influence national and regional consultation processes related to UHC.

Expected Outcomes

The Symposium outcomes will include but not be limited to;

  • Raising an alarm about the UHC debate in Uganda and the need for the young people, all stakeholders, IPs and development partners to mobilize and actively engage.
  • Ensuring all advocates have a clear idea on how to engage in UHC advocacy at the district and national levels.
  • Developing a vision on how to effectively align health/PHC/HIV with the UHC agenda including HIV prevention and the role of communities.
  • Understanding Social determinants of health, human rights, and community responses within the UHC context.
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