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Latest News

Official Opening of the First ECOWAS Forum on Best Practices in Health : the Transitional President and President of Faso and the community of partners show support for the WAHO initiatives


The ECOWAS Forum of Good Practices in Health was officially flagged off at a ceremony marked by the distinguished presence of the President de la Transitional president of Faso, members of the Transitional Government, representative of the Minister of Health and Social Action of Senegal, the current Chair of ECOWAS, corporate bodies and partners, and lastly, over three hundred participants from Africa and other continents. .

Several speeches and addresses were delivered at the ceremony and all, without exception, congratulated WAHO on its leadership in spearheading health interventions in Africa. Above all, the speakers reaffirmed their support for the institution in general and for its activities to promote sustainability of best practices in the West African region, in particular.

It was the Director- General of WAHO who flagged off the series of speeches and addresses at the ceremony. Dr Xavier Crespin began by expressing appreciation for the immense support provided by the leaders of Burkina Faso and by the different partners. Speaking specifically about the forum, he stated that it was being held pursuant to the recommendation of the 15th Ordinary Assembly of ECOWAS Health Ministers in Monrovia, which adopted a Resolution establishing the ECOWAS Forum on Best Practices in Health. Dr Crespin explained further that the idea had been prompted by the fact that the health situation in the ECOWAS region is still characterised by, among other things, high morbidity and mortality rates, consistently weak health systems, ineffective health information systems, limited access to medicines, inadequate specialist human resources for health and recurrent epidemics.

This alarming health situation explains the constant attention of the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government to this sector and the regional initiatives they have taken to provide better health for the citizens, who are the vectors of economic development and regional integration.

For Dr. Crespin, therefore, the Forum that is being launched will help make easier to identify and document high impact best practices in health, and promote scalability to speed up efficient and effective implementation of health programmes in ECOWAS Member States. The forum must make it possible to derive optimum benefit from the diversity of existing proven best practices in health or those that hold promise in the ECOWAS region. It must, in addition, help to ensure that Member States, health providers or researchers are better informed about the work they are doing in their respective fields. Lastly, the Forum aims to better structure the dialogue between WAHO and Health Ministries and health researchers and health service providers.

In the view of the WHO Permanent Resident in Burkina Faso, the organisation of the ECOWAS Forum is a welcome initiative coming, as it does, after the serious Ebola virus disease epidemic that wrought havoc in the countries affected and caused much apprehension among those that were spared. As a platform for exchanging ideas, the forum offers countries, partners and the different actors in the health sector the assurance that the most effective interventions for the health of population will be scaled up.

A longstanding partner of WAHO, KfW, and one which has played a major part in the organisation of this forum, was represented by the First Secretary at the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany. The First Secretary alluded to the long history of cooperation with WAHO recalling with satisfaction the many excellent results that had been obtained in general since 2007, through initiatives such as KfW’s funding of an innovative Reproductive Health and HIV Prevention Programme in West Africa. More specifically, KfW provides a constant supply of reproductive health products which are always cruelly lacking in the ECOWAS region. With the success of the programme since 2007, the German contribution year on year has climbed steadily to record level of over 15 billion CFA francs.

For USAID, which has been one of WAHO’ s most valued partners for several years now, the forum is a great leap forward because being able to identify and share best practices in mother and child health among actors from different areas is an opportunity that promises hope for saving the lives of thousands of people who can be useful to the development of their countries. USAID Regional Director for West Africa, Mr. Alex Duprez, stated that the American government and USAID will always respond to such initiatives and WAHO can count on USAID support and assistance towards all its efforts.

The representative of Senegal’s Minister of Health and Social Action, Mr. Mame Abdoulaye Gueye, on his part, urged ECOWAS countries to assume ownership of the outcomes of the forum, whose positive implications for better mother, newborn, child and adolescent health are obvious. He went on to say that, “Senegal is ready to disseminate and share the resolutions adopted at the forum as they will, without a doubt, lead to increased use of the solutions that have been tried and tested in other countries.’’

One of the key points during the ceremony came when the Transitional President of Faso, congratulated WAHO, in his speech, for its many interventions in the area of health in West Africa and expressed the interest of Burkina Faso in the first ever ECOWAS Forum on Best Practices in Health that is being held in the country, According to Mr. Michel Kafando, the theme chosen was appropriate as it would provide a platform to examine all that the health sector needs and requires to enable countries to meet the aspirations of their citizens and achieve the ECOWAS 2020 Vision of building a community dedicated to serving the people at the grassroots and enhancing their capacity to contribute to national development.

The theme of the forum is "Ending Preventable Mother and Child Deaths in West Africa : What works in Reproductive Health and Family Planning " and parallel sessions, followed by plenary sessions, were held on the aspects evoked in the theme, namely Leadership, Management and Governance; Health Service Delivery approaches, Socio-cultural approaches and Advocacy ; Scalability and Sustainability of effective practices.

Moctar Traoré : Communication Officer, WAHO


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Bulletins
épidemiologique

S44/2017

reconnaissance à l'OOAS