NOVAFRICA Conference on “Community health and the reduction of maternal and infant mortality”

December 11, 2017.
Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian | Auditorium 3
Lisbon, Portugal.


On December 11, NOVAFRICA in partnership with VIDA will host a conference on “Community health and the reduction of maternal and infant mortality” in Lisbon.

The conference is an all-day event, starting at 9 am and will take place in auditorium 3 of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

We will count with the participation of renowned economics scholars, such as Damien De Walque from the World Bank.

To submit your registration, please follow this link.

Kindly note that the attendance is free but with limited availability, therefore we highly recommend your registration until December 7, 2017.


Organized by:



Supported by:





Helena Areal


Helena Areal holds a degree in Clinical Analysis and Public Health from the Escola Superior de Tecnologia de Saúde do Porto (Portugal) and an MSc in Molecular and Cytomic Biology from Escola Superior de Saúde do Vale do Ave (Portugal). She taught at Instituto Politécnico Tundavala, in Lubango (Angola) and also worked at a Clinical Analysis Laboratory at the United Kingdom. In 2016, Helena was an independent volunteer at the refugee camp of Idomeni and Salónica (Greece). Since 2017, Helena is the delegate of NGO VIDA at Guinea Bissau and health coordinator.


Umaro Ba

UNICEF Guiné-Bissau

Umaro Ba is a physician (Faculdade de Ciencias Medicas Dr. Jose Assef Yara, at Cuba) specialized in General Medicine. He was the responsable doctor at Maternal and Child Reference Center at Bissau; between 2008 and 2009, he worked at the urgency service and woman health service at the Hospital Nacional Simão Mendes (Bissau). Umaro Ba was, also, the director of the cholera treatment center and member of the technical committee for the prevention and response to epidemics, and a professor at the faculty of medical sciences at Bissau. In 2009, he assumed the position of General Director of Health Promotion and Prevention until 2013. He was also internal general director of Simão Mendes National Hospital and member of the West African Health Organization (OOAS) program committee. Since 2014, Umaro Ba is the focal point for Community Health at UNICEF in Bissau.

He has been involved in several international health events, as the 7th Global Conference on Health Promotion (Kenya), some General Assemblies of Ministers of Health of ECOWAS, the Regional Committees of WHO, and the General Assembly of WHO (Switzerland).


Carmen Báe

Consultora de Saúde Pública

Carmen Báez is a general practitioner (Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique), and holds a MSc in Public Health from the University of Western Cape (South Africa).

Between 1989 and 1992, she worked in Mozambique during the civil war – first, as clinic director of Centro de Saúde de Bagamoio and later as clinical director and pediatrics director at Hospital Provincial de Chimoio, until 1994.

She was involved in the design of the Primary Health atention politics in South Africa, after apartheid. At Health Systems Trust (HST), a local and prestigious NGO, Carmen worked as public health facilitator in the development of district health systems for the implementation of primary health care policies in South Africa. Carmen also taught at University of the Witswatersrand and University of Pretoria. In 2005, she conducted a study on health equity in all Eastern and Southern African countries, investigating the influence of community participation and governance on southern policies.

In 2006, Carmen returned to Argentina, 30 years later, where she worked as health comission coordinator at Instituto de Economia Social do Ministério Nacional de Desenvolvimento Social. Since 2010, she is an independent consultant, mostly in health projects sponsored by the European Union. Between 2013 and 2016, Carmen was techincal advisor of the Maternal and Child Health integrated programme (PIMI) at Guinea Bissau, financed by European Union.


Patrícia Carvalho


Patrícia Carvalho is a nurse by formation and holds an MSc in Tropical Health from the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical (Universidade Nova de Lisboa) with a . Patrícia has almost 10 years of experience in Guinea Bissau, where she has lived and leaded several health projects. Between 2011 and 2017, was representative of NGO VIDA at Guinea Bissau and coordinator of health, assuming the institutional and diplomatic representation with the technical and financial partners, project management, team coordination and institutional capacity building.

Currently, Patrícia is enrolled in the first year of the PhD in International Health at the Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical.


Mattia Fracchia

NOVAFRICA – Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Mattia is currently enrolled in the third year of the PhD in Economics and Finance at Nova SBE. He holds a B.Sc. from Bocconi University, and a M.Sc. from Universitat Pompeu Fabra.

His main research interests include Development Economics, Behavioural Economics and Applied Microeconomics. He is also interested in phenomena such as social business and impact finance, and their potential as instruments to promote sustainable economic development. He is currently working in Guiné Bissau on the NOVAFRICA project “Incentives of Community Health Workers in Guinea Bissau”. He matured previous field experience in India and Mozambique.


Andrea Guariso

Trinity College Dublin

Andrea Guariso is Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin, and member of the Trinity Impact Evaluation Unit (TIME). His research focuses on development economics and political economics. He is currently involved in a number of research projects across Africa, including multiple large-scale randomized evaluations in the health sector. He holds a PhD in Economics from KU Leuven, and a MSc from Bocconi University.


Agostinho N’Dumbá

Direção Geral de Prevenção e Promoção de Saúde – Guiné-Bissau

Agostinho N’Dumbá is a general practitioner from the Intitute of Medicine of Timisoara (Romania). He attended the international course of Public Health at the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (Belgium) and, along the years, participated in several seminars: Regional Health Management by WHO, Disaster Management, Health Economics, and others related to infectious diseases such as HIV / AIDS.

Between 1986 and 1987, Agostinho assumes functions as clinical director of the Policlínica da UNTG, at Bissau, and since then, he passed through several hospitals in the country as clinical director. In 1992, he worked as regional director of health at the region of Quinara and, later in 1999, as regional director of health at Setor Autonomo de Bissau until 2005. In 2005, he started to work at Hospital Nacional Simão Mendes (Bissau), where he was involved in the antiretroviral treatment center and also as clinical director. Between 2008 and 2017, Agostinho coordinates the National Programme that fights HIV/AIDS at Guinea Bissau and assumes the function of president of the Guinean Order of Physicians.

Since may 2017, Agostinho is the general director of Health Ministry at Guinea Bissau.


Giuliano Russo

Queen Mary University of London

Giuliano Russo is lecturer in Global Health at Queen Mary University of London’s Centre for Primary Care and Public Health. Giuliano has over 20 years of professional experience in academia, public and private sector, having worked in the past for Oxford Policy Management (UK), the University of Lisbon (Portugal), the World Bank, the Overseas Development Institute (UK), the Government of Mozambique, the Instituto Nacional de Salud Publica (Mexico), as well as for SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals (Spain and the UK).

A health economist by training, his recent work has focused on pharmaceutical policy and markets in low- and middle- income countries, the economics of human resources for health, health systems in low-income settings, and on global health aid architecture, with a geographical focus on African and Latin-American countries. Giuliano holds an MSc in health economics from the University of York, and a Doctorate in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Luís Varandas

Instituto de Medicina e Higiene Tropical – Universidade Nova de Lisboa

Luís Varandas is a pediatrician with a PhD in Tropical Medicine, specialized in Pathology and Tropical Medicine Clinic (2001). As a researcher, he has been involved in research projects, authoring/co-authoring various scientific papers in national and international journals, book chapters, and as a guest speaker for lectures and conferences.

Currently, Luís is an associate professor at the Clinical Unit for Tropical Diseases (Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical – Lisbon) and an assistant professor of Pediatrics at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal), where he is also a member of the Pedagogical Council and Coordinator of the Pedagogical Commission of the 6th year of Integrated Master of Medicine.

He is the assistant clinical director of Hospital Dona Estefânia (Lisbon), where coordinates the office for Cooperation and Travel Medicine Consultation. Luís is the vaccine coordinator at the Portuguese Pediatric Society and, between 2014 and 2017, was the president of the Society of Pediatric Infeciology (Portugal).

His clinical and formative activity also includes collaboration in some Portuguese-speaking African countries, where he has collaborated with the Tropical Medicine Center (IHMT) in Bissau (Guiné-Bissau), with the Department of Pediatrics of Maputo Central Hospital (Mozambique), with the David Bernardino Pediatric Hospital in Luanda (Angola), and also with some masters of Tropical Medicine in Mozambique, among others.


Pedro Vicente

NOVAFRICA – Universidade Nova de Lisboa & University of Notre Dame

Pedro Vicente is Associate Professor of Economics and director of the PhD program in Economics and Finance at Nova School of Business and Economics, and an invited Lecturer at the University of Oxford. Pedro researches on development economics, with an emphasis on political economy issues, and a special interest in Africa. He designed and conducted field work (including randomized field experiments) in Mozambique, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Sao Tome and Principe. He has published articles in top field journals such as the Economic Journal, Journal of Development Economics, and Review of Economics and Statistics.

Pedro holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago, and is affiliated with BREAD (Duke University, USA) and with the CSAE (University of Oxford, UK). He is Lead Academic for Mozambique at the IGC (International Growth Center based at the LSE and Oxford), and a consultant for the World Bank.


Damien de Walque **KEYNOTE SPEAKER**

World Bank

Damien de Walque is a Senior Economist in the Development Research Group (Human Development and Public Services Team) at the World Bank. He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago in 2003. His research interests include health and education and the interactions between them. His current work is focused on evaluating the impact of financial incentives on health and education outcomes. He is currently evaluating the education and health outcomes of conditional cash transfers linked to school attendance and health center visits in Burkina Faso.

He is also working on evaluating the impact of HIV/AIDS interventions and policies in several African countries. He is leading two evaluations of the impact of short-term financial incentives on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). On the supply side of health services, he is managing a large portfolio of impact evaluations of results-based financing in the health sector. He has also edited a book on risky behaviors for health (smoking, drugs, alcohol, obesity, risky sex) in the developing world.


Please find a PDF version of the program here.




Dra. Maria Hermínia Cabral | Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Programa Parcerias para o Desenvolvimento


The Impact of Community Health on the Indicators of Reduction of Maternal and Infant Mortality

Prof. Giuliano Russo | Queen Mary University of London
Dr. Luís Varandas | Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical, Hospital Dona Estefânia & NOVA Medical School – UNL
Dra. Carmen Báez | Consultora da Saúde Pública | Public Health Consultant

Moderator Dr. João de Almeida Pedro | Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian


Coffee Break


Community Health Workers

Prof. Andrea Guariso | Trinity College Dublin
‘Effect of a Micro Entrepreneur-based Community Health Delivery Program on Under-five Mortality in Uganda: a Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial’ Presentation
Prof.Pedro Vicente | NOVAFRICA – Universidade Nova de Lisboa & University of Notre Dame
‘Incentives of CHWs in Guinea-Bissau’  Presentation


Lunch Break


Implementation of Community health programmes – case study of Guinea Bissau

Dr. Agostinho N’ Dumbá | General Director – Health Ministry of Guinea Bissau
Dr. Umaro Ba | UNICEF Guiné- Bissau
Dra. Patrícia Carvalho | VIDA
‘The participation of the communities in the definition, implementation, and demand of health care’  Presentation


Coffee Break


Communication technology into community health programmes


Prof. Damien De Walque | World Bank
’The Use of ICT in Community Health’ Presentation

Dr. Mattia Fracchia | NOVAFRICA – Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Dra. Helena Areal | VIDA
’Processing Community Health data for the city of Bissau’  Presentation




Closing Remarks