A member of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) holds a sign during a march to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) offices in Pretoria demanding that vaccines from Russia and China be given the greenlight and supplied to South Africans, June 2021. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP

In November 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa convened the Fifth Health Sector Directors’ Meeting across its 47 member states. Aptly, the focus was on building resilient health systems in the WHO Africa region, given the effects of COVID-19 on already struggling African health systems, and the need to respond and rebuild.

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Marisa Casale is an Extraordinary Professor at the University of the Western Cape’s School of Public Health (SOPH) and an Associate Member of Oxford University’s Department of Social Policy and Intervention. She is currently leading a work package focused on translating evidence into impact, within the UKRI GCRF Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescents Hub.