Health Partners Discuss Maternal, Child Health Ahead of AHM

Health experts session in Abuja
Health experts session in Abuja

West African Health Organization (WAHO) partners on Tuesday met on the sidelines of the 18th Assembly of ECOWAS Health Ministers in Nigeria.
The meeting which was attended by partners such as WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF, NEPAD, is expected to draft proposals for roadmap on hospital reform, maternal and child health for adoption of the Ministers on Friday.
Declaring the session open, WAHO Director General announced that the sum of $150 million has been raised in the last two years to fund critical health projects across the region.
He said the focus is on Maternal and Child Health as well as fighting  communicable and non-communicable diseases in the region.
“So, we have managed to get more than $150 million over the  last two years to support our programmes which is mainly how we can better control diseases in our countries. Non-communicable disease first and then communicable disease. How we can fight epidemic in our region.
“As you  know after the Ebola crisis in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, it became obvious that our countries were not very strong enough to fight against some of these diseases.
“So, what we try to achieve is to improve the health situation of our people. Our main objective under this project is how to have more resources for our countries to contribute to reduction of maternal and child mortality rate.
“So, it is important for us as a regional body to have partners who can help these countries to strengthen our health system and laboratories. How we can bring workforce from country to another country to support the country where it is needed.
“The other aspect is also about nutrition, how we can improve the nutrition of mother and child by improving the vitamin A
“The other area where we are working is demography, population and health. As you know, our population is growing fast, it is necessary to have mother-child programme. So there are several projects. How we can get our laboratories improved, Dr Crespin told journalists here in Abuja.
Speaking further on the ongoing projects, WAHO DG said,  “The projects are not one time project. Some are three years or four years programme. Each year we have a review to see the implementation but also to see the level of mobilization of fund.
“One thing is the partner may tell you this is the money we are giving you for this activity and another thing is to have a monitoring system to know how much is really on ground for the country.
“But today, we are better prepared as a region and as a country individually to fight disease. We are also working very hard to get our own Centre for Disease Control, CDC, like the US CDC.
“ECOWAS is now the first sub-region in sub-sahara to have a CDC. We are yet to officially take off, but the regional CDC is based here in Nigeria in line with AU decision.

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