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International Conference on Primary Health Care 2023

The International Conference on Primary Health Care (ICPHC) is right around the corner—taking place next month in Addis Ababa from September 5–7!  

In line with the conference’s themes of building sustainable primary health care (PHC) systems and empowering individuals and communities, Pathfinder will be hosting two concurrent sessions—one on disaster preparedness and response in primary health care settings, and one on delivering integrated, person-centered care.

Pathfinder’s own Dr. Mengistu Asnake will also be featured as a speaker in Building Sustainable PHC. See below to learn more and RSVP for our other events: Strengthening Disaster Preparedness and Response in Primary Healthcare Settings through Community Action and Eliminating Silos: Integration of Person-Centered Care in PHC Settings.

We hope to see you at the conference! 

Building Sustainable Primary Health Care

Plenary B 
Date: Wednesday, September 6 | Time: 13:30 – 14:30 EAT
Where: Skylight Hotel

Digital technologies have become essential resources in building a primary health care (PHC) that is sustainable and that provides services that are of high quality and safety. However, their advantages and disadvantages are often points of debate. During the conference, we hope to hear from a diverse array of experiences and perspectives on e-health, with the aim of better understanding how to efficiently and effectively utilize e-health in a way that truly strengthens the system. We will also feature country experiences of efforts to move in meaningful ways towards comprehensive, sustainable PHC.

Strengthening Disaster Preparedness and Response in Primary Healthcare Settings through Community Action

Concurrent Session B4
Date: Wednesday, September 6 | Time: 14:45 – 15:45 EAT
Where: Skylight Hotel

Shocks and stressors, often caused by the effects of climate change, can lead to humanitarian crises that threaten the health, safety, security, and wellbeing of communities. As the world contends with multiple overlapping health crises with increasing frequency, it is essential that primary health care (PHC) systems are equipped to anticipate and respond to disaster. Join experts from Pathfinder’s USAID-funded Transform PHC project and Takeda-funded Advancing the Leadership of Women and Girls Towards Better Health and Climate Change Resilience project as we share promising models, approaches, and emerging solutions for sustaining and strengthening PHC systems and explore linkages between community action and effective crisis response and preparedness.

Featured Speakers

  • Dr. Luwam Teshome, Technical Director for FP/RH & Gender, Pathfinder Ethiopia
  • Fahmee Tamanna, Communication & Documentation Officer, Pathfinder Bangladesh
  • Askari Hasan, Project Manager – TAKEDA Project, Pathfinder Pakistan
  • Additional speaker to be announced

Eliminating Silos: Integration of Person-Centered Care in Primary Health Care Settings

Concurrent Session C1 
Date: Thursday, September 7 | Time: 10:15 – 11:15 EAT
Where: Skylight Hotel

In recent years, the primary health care (PHC) landscape has witnessed significant advancements in medical technologies and treatment approaches. However, amid these developments, one critical challenge persists—the presence of silos in healthcare systems. Siloed care models often lead to fragmented services, reduced patient satisfaction, and compromised health outcomes. To address this issue, it is essential to promote the integration of person-centered care in PHC settings. This concurrent session aims to explore innovative strategies and best practices for breaking down silos and fostering an integrated approach to healthcare delivery.

Featured Speakers

  • Dr. Mengistu Asnake, Senior Country Director, Pathfinder Ethiopia
  • Dr. Kezia K’Oduol, Global Director of Health, Living Goods
  • Dr. Ritah Waddimba, Country Director, Pathfinder Uganda
  • Joram Luke, Senior Technical Advisor – HIV/AIDS & SRHR, Pathfinder Kenya
  • Edson Twesigye, National Family Planning Policy Advisor, Pathfinder Uganda

Meet the Pathfinder Delegation

Mengistu Asnake
Senior Country Director

A public health physician with over 35 years of experience in clinical service, program management, training, and operation research both in government and non-governmental organizations. In addition to his current role, Mengistu was the Chief of Party for the Transform: Primary Health Care project, served as an expert in global discussions for FP/HIV integration, community-based family planning, long-acting family planning, community health workers, Cervical cancer prevention, and adolescent issues. He has an MD at Gondar College of Medical Sciences, Addis Ababa University and an MPH at Addis Ababa University. He authored and co-authored over 60 scientific and technical papers in peer reviewed journals and technical publications.

Pamela Onduso
Country Director

Pamela is a multi-disciplinary Kenyan health professional and advocate with rich Africa-based experience in Reproductive Health program design, implementation, capacity building, grants and financial management with public and private sector partners. She is a technical resource on Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH), Population, Health and Environment, and related advocacy and policy. She designed Pathfinder’s university-based Youth-Friendly Services projects at Kenyatta, Egerton and Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya); replicated in Tanzania and Uganda. She co-authored Pathfinder’s first Africa Region Adolescent Strategy. She supports Pathfinder’s resource mobilization efforts from the US Government, corporations and foundations (BMGF, MacArthur, Packard). She advocates for women’s empowerment and supports efforts to improve their resilience to climate change.

Ritah Waddimba
Country Director 

Dr. Ritah Waddimba is the Country Director and Chief of Party for the USAID/Uganda Family Planning Activity. Previously, as Senior Technical Director, she oversaw the technical planning and implementation of reproductive health, gender and youth interventions at the national and sub national levels, leading to an increase in adoption of healthy reproductive behaviors. Ritah has extensive experience in supporting local health systems to respond to primary health care needs of communities.

Ali Adamou Harouna
Communications Advisor

Ali Adamou Harouna is a communications, media and advocacy specialist with extensive experience working in both development and humanitarian programs. He is committed to the right and access to reproductive health services for the most vulnerable women, youth, and adolescents especially in this context of climate change. With more than 15 years of experience in various sectors including radio and television, telecommunications companies, and national and international NGOs, he is currently Communication Advisor at Pathfinder. Ali is fluent in English and French and plays a key role in Africa, in coordinating visibility, communications and media activities to promote Pathfinder’s work across the globe.

Paulina Akanet
State Program Manager

Paulina Akanet is a Nurse/Midwife with over 30 years of experience in clinical midwifery practice. During this time, she has worked with policymakers, community leaders, Primary Health Centers, and secondary level facility workers to improve access to quality health services. Paulina is a certified and seasoned master trainer in the Life Saving Skills (LSS) program for Midwives and has worked in various capacities including Quality Improvement Specialist, Acting Technical Director and later Technical Director for the project of the SHOPS Plus Project where she managed the conduct of post training follow up and supportive supervisory visits to over 900 trained providers.

Jeanett Chowdhury
Community Engagement & SBCC Officer 

Jeanett is responsible for technical support in implementing nationwide activities that support primary SRH demand generation, supports better service delivery at the community, coordinating all implantation with Bangladesh Government’s priority in achieving national targets. She had multiple engagements throughout her career that includes WASH and youth engagement, community radio programs and women resilience projects prior her three years engagement at Pathfinder. Before that she completed her post-graduation in Anthropology and has an interest in cultural formation and interpretations. Jeanett has a keen interest in martial arts and wants to learn and study more on socio-ecological development while applying it in her work. 

Askari Hasan
Project Manager

Askari serves as Manager for the Takeda project, Advancing the Leadership of Women and Girls Towards Better Health and Climate Change Resilience in Pakistan. Askari brings with him almost a decade of experience in the development sector, including youth-led counter-violent extremism programming with USAID, governance and systems strengthening with The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (World Bank Group), and social marketing and contraceptive commodity security with DKT International. With a Social Impact MBA in Nonprofit Management (concentration in conflict resolution and coexistence) from the Heller School at Brandeis University, Askari specializes in working with a diverse set of stakeholders for strategic planning and effective program implementation. 

Abebe Kassa
Program-Project Technical Coordinator 

Abebe is an SRH advisor at Pathfinder, Ethiopia with a total of 20 Years of experience in public health practice in various capabilities and positions such as Adolescent and Youth Health, Gender, and Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent health and Nutrition programs at the INGO and as an academician and health care provider in the public sectors. He has been actively engaged in adolescent and youth health programming in addressing their unique SRH needs in a gender transformative approach in the last 10 years. 

Worknesh Kereta
Senior AYHD Technical Advisor 

A public health professional with over 40 years of experience in adolescent and youth program management, service delivery, education, and training.  has been working closely with the public sector to further improve the health, and life skills of adolescents and youth in the country. Worked at Pathfinder for the last over 17 years as an adolescent and youth health focusing on integrating Youth Friendly Health services within public health Facilities.

Joram Luke  
Senior Technical Advisor, HIV/AIDS & SRHR 

Joram is a medical doctor and public health professional with over 12 years experience in management and coordination of public health programs locally and internationally focusing mainly on HIV programming and its integration with programs such as TB, non-communicable diseases, Maternal, neonatal and Child Health, contraception, cervical cancer prevention and adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health. He is currently part of the Pathfinder Global sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) team where he serves as the Senior Technical Advisor, HIV/AIDS and Quality. Dr. Luke holds a MPH and Post Graduate Diploma from Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand and an MD from Moi University, Kenya. 


Fisseha Moges
National Programs Management Support Advisor

Fisseha is a public health professional with more than 15 years of experience in the government health system and non-governmental organizations. Currently, he is working as a country programs management support advisor for Pathfinder, Ethiopia country office and providing support to the overall program implementation and specific projects. Fisseha holds a bachelor’s degree in public health from Haramaya University, a MPH from Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, and a Project Management Professionals aspirant. 

Ene Odu
MEL Manager 

Ene Odu is a research, monitoring and evaluation specialist with over 10 years progressive experience in the monitoring & evaluation of health development programs implementing Reproductive Maternal Newborn & Child Health projects. Through her work at national and subnational levels she has contributed to health systems strengthening by engaging effectively with key stakeholders. She has experience in operations research, capacity development, survey management, data management, statistical analysis, and knowledge management. She holds a master’s degree in health management and certification with APMG on PMD Pro. Ene is currently the MEL Manager, of Pathfinder International, Nigeria where she leads data management, monitoring and learning efforts across all country projects. 

Fahmee Tamanna
Communication & Documentation Officer 

With over a decade’s worth of experience in community engagement, emphasis on disaster preparedness, Fahmee stands as a dedicated advocate for building resilient communities. Adept in project planning, management, and strategic thinking, she has cultivated a comprehensive understanding of development concerns spanning livelihood, nutrition, child development, and health issues, particularly within the context of Bangladesh. With the expertise in disaster preparedness, she skillfully identified gaps within emergency response systems and working towards a comprehensive contingency plan to address these vulnerabilities.

Luwam Teshome
Technical Director, FP/RH & Gender 

A public health professional, Dr. Teshome has worked in maternal and reproductive health programming for over 17 years. She has extensive experience in designing, managing, monitoring and evaluation of maternal and child health, family planning and reproductive health programs. In her current role, she provides technical leadership and oversight to several projects. Before joining Pathfinder International, she was Senior Health Adviser with FCDO and FRH lead with WHO Ethiopia office and served as a physician in public Hospitals in Ethiopia. Dr. Teshome holds a medical doctorate from Addis Ababa University and an MPH from Gondar College of Medical Sciences. 

Edson Twesigye
National Family Planning Policy Advisor

Edson is a National Policy Advisor, for the USAID/Uganda Family Planning Activity, an initiative that seeks to enable increased adoption of positive reproductive health behaviors to drive FP access and uptake. Previously worked with PATH as a Senior Program Officer, leading implementation of the HIV Self testing Africa (STAR III), focused on creating enabling environment for HIVST scale up, as a Country coordinator and National scale up officer led successful introduction and scale up of Sayana Press, an Injectable contraceptive. He has 20 years’ experience working SRHR, HIV/TB, and implementing PHC programs in resource limited including private sector and humanitarian settings.   


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