Equinet Africa

EQUINET, the Regional Network on Equity in Health in East and Southern Africa, is a network of professionals, civil society members, policy makers, state officials and others within the region who have come together as an equity catalyst, to promote and realise shared values of equity and social justice in health.

EQUINET gathers people to overcome isolation, give voice and promote networking using bottom-up approaches built on shared values. We have come together in a spirit of self determination and collective self reliance working through existing government, civil society, research and other mechanisms and institutions in East and Southern Africa.

EQUINET is building a forum for dialogue, learning, sharing of information and experience and critical analysis. We do this to build knowledge and perspectives, shape effective strategies, strengthen our voice nationally, regionally and globally and to buiild strategic alliances to influence policy, politics and practice towards health equity and social justice.

EQUINET's work covers a wide range of areas identified as priorities for health equity, within the political economy of health, health services and inputs to health, covered in the theme areas shown on this site. EQUINET is governed by a steering committee with representatives from institutions in the region, has five cluster leads that co-ordinate major areas of work and has a secretariat at the Training and Research Support Centre Zimbabwe.

In 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 epidemic we have under our newsletter work prepared information briefs that compile relevant evidence for the ESA region on COVID-19, its epidemiology, impact, prevention  and management. Please read past sheets on the website under EQUINET publications and subscribe if you would like to receive future sheets.  We welcome information from or relevant to the region to be included in the information briefs 

EQUINET and PHM East and Southern Africa Regional People's Health University, July 29 to November 12 2021 

The first East and Southern Africa Regional People’s Health University (ESA RPHU) jointly convened by PHM and EQUINET is being held virtually between 29 July and 12 November with the theme ‘Past, present and future struggles for Health equity’.  The course aims to build and share evidence, experience, analysis and knowledge on the drivers of health equity to support efforts and activism within countries, as new and existing members of PHM and EQUINET, and in regional co-operation and joint engagement, from local to global level, on shared priorities. The course aims to link key areas of evidence and knowledge to practical experiences and action to share insights and build learning from action. Please visit the RPHU page on this website for further details, the programme and open access resources and selected session recordings.

Multimethods work on mental health and wellbeing of urban youth in East and Southern African countries

Invitation of expressions of interest 

EQUINET is implementing work using a mix of methods on mental health and wellbeing in urban youth in a context of COVID-19, to share experiences, exchange and learning from in east and southern Africa. The work, which involves dialogues,  desk reviews, online tools and other approaches, aims to convene an information/ exchange process for participatory voice of and exchange between urban and peri-urban young people on their mental health generally, how COVID-19 has affected this, where young people get support and services for mental health challenges, what gaps are perceived and what recommendations young people have for improving responses.  Prior work in EQUINET on urban health already referred to youth mental health as an area that is of rising concern but largely ignored or underserved by services. Anecdotal information from conversations with young people by CFYDDI Uganda and CMPD Malawi as EQUINET members suggest that young people face a number of stresses driving mental ill-health and reply more on social support than on support from formal services for problems. A desk review implemented by IWGHSS and EQUINET provides further evidence of this in our region.

The COVID-19 pandemic has intensified many stressors, but also presents an opportunity to understand and respond to mental health issues  from a reactive and narrow biomedical or stigmatising lens to one that locates the causes in living, working and social conditions and that requires a wider and more holistic set of community and sectoral  responses that engage with young people in their design.  The pandemic has already shown the ideas and innovation that young people bring to such responses. The work we are doing in EQUINET with partners seeks to further explore and share experience, ideas, resources and  responses directly from young people and those working with and supporting young people. admin [at] equinetafrica.org (subject: Youth%20mental%20health) (Please write to us) with ‘youth mental health’ in the subject line if you are interested in connecting on this work, with brief information or links on your work, areas of focus or interest. 

Latest Equinet Publications

Policy paper 3: A review of experience concerning household ability to cope with the resource demands of ill health and health care utilisation
Goudge, J; Govender, V; Centre for Health Policy, University of Witwatersrand; Health Economics Unit; University of Cape Town (2000 June)
Poverty and health
South Africa
Policy paper 2: Equity in health in Southern Africa: Overview and issues from an annotated bibliography
EQUINET Steering Committee (1998 May)
Equity in health
Southern Africa Regional
Policy paper 1: Can research fill the equity gap in Southern Africa?
Loewenson, R (1999 September)
Equity in health, Monitoring equity and research to policy
Southern Africa Regional
Policy paper 7: Equity in health in Southern Africa: Turning values into practice
EQUINET Steering Committee (2000 September)
Values, policies and rights
Southern Africa Regional
Policy paper 8: An examination of public sector subsidies to the private health sector: A Zimbabwe case study
Mudyarabikwa, O; University of Zimbabwe Medical School (2000 September)
Resource allocation and health financing