The Access Challenge Convenes UHC High Level Conference 2018,

Announces collaboration with the Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete Foundation to launch Africa leadership campaign to promote UHC

Head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and the former President of Tanzania, His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, will join health care leaders and luminaries to create a practical action plan for attaining worldwide universal health access

Lagos, Nigeria, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and New York; September 24, 2018— Today, His Excellency Jakaya Kikwete, former President of Tanzania, and The Access Challenge, a leading not-for-profit advocacy organization focused on universal access to health care, will host a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) High Level Conference and Awards Dinner 2018 at the Westin Times Square in New York City. Representatives from government, UN, philanthropic, investment, pharmaceutical, and related sectors are taking part in this hands-on working session focused on the action items needed to attain worldwide universal health access.  

His Excellency Kikwete said, “Dr. Tedros has issued a bold call for the world to achieve Universal Health Access by 2030. We are hosting this UHC Conference in order to jumpstart our campaign, One by One: Target 2030. This campaign will secure and sustain top-level African political commitment for UHC so that every child, adolescent, mother, and family can realize his or her right to health.”

“The Access Challenge’s mission is to drive awareness of critical health issues on national and global levels,” said Kate Campana, founder and CEO of The Access Challenge. “With Dr. Tedros’ mandate for Universal Health Coverage by 2030 in mind, we are bringing together leaders from all pertinent sectors to act as a think tank and create a realistic action plan. We intend to effectuate this plan by sharing the knowledge gleaned from the Forums, through a comprehensive report.”

Among the experts of public health who will participate in the UHC Conference 2018 are: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the head of the World Health Organization; His Excellency Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the former President of Tanzania; Dr. Chris Elias, President - Global Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, Regional Director for Africa, World Health Organization; Dr. Mariam Claeson, director, Global Financing Facility; Ms. Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance; Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity; and Dr. Mary-Ann Etiebet, Lead & Executive Director, Merck for Mothers.

The Conference consists of four Forums on the critical concerns in African health care: Child Health and Malaria; Maternal Health; Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs); and Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). Based on conversations and feedback from the Forums, The Access Challenge will generate a report charting a roadmap for African countries to follow to achieve Universal Health Coverage as a first step toward global adoption.

At the event, The Access Challenge will present three awards to individuals or organizations that have made lasting contributions to the drive towards UHC.  The Rockefeller Foundation will receive the Innovative Philanthropist Award for laying the groundwork for UHC over a twenty-year period.  Dr. Agnes Binagwaho will receive the Country Leadership Award for national leadership in the fight for Universal Health Coverage in Rwanda. The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO-AFRO) will receive the UHC Innovative Partnership Award for the Expanded Special Project for the Elimination of NTDs, a groundbreaking public-private partnership to accelerate progress in meeting NTD elimination targets. 

The Access Challenge events are timed to coincide with the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 73). At UNGA 73, heads of state will gather on September 26 at a high level meeting on tuberculosis (TB) with the goal of accelerating efforts to reach all affected people with TB prevention and care. The UNGA will also host a high level meeting on NCDs on September 27.

For more information about UHC High Level Conference visit

About The Access Challenge

The Access Challenge, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, inspired by a vision of a world where every person has an equal ability to survive and thrive regardless of where she or he is born, advocates for universal access to health and education. The Access Challenge works with Heads of State and other public officials; partners with experts to bring key issues to the attention of government and corporate leaders who can galvanize support; produces high-profile public events that shine a spotlight on governmental commitments and holds leaders accountable; and launches powerful multimedia campaigns to raise broad awareness and change cultural expectations about critical access issues. Visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn to learn more. 



Media Contact:
Kate Alexander
For The Access Challenge