The President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Adoo, has called on the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), to re-direct its efforts in providing the region with credible Health Care Quality Indicators.
Akufo-Adoo, represented by Mr Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, Ghana’s health minister and chairman of the committee of ECOWAS health ministers, made the call at the 23rd Ordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Assembly of Health Ministers (AHM), on Friday in Accra.
He said the indicators must have comparable cross-national data on the quality of care.
It presented an opportunity for the Ministers to review the health situation in the region and deliberate on the achievements and challenges in the implementation of health programmes and policies.
To have a secure health care system in the sub-region, an Accra Declaration on Universal health care was signed.
“We must use this opportunity to reform and improve our healthcare systems. I am of the firm belief that two of the crucial steps we need to take to get improved health out of our limited resources, are organizing our health systems better and more implementing effective prevention measures at population level.
“It is likely your priorities may be different, and this Assembly would be richer by learning from you with regards to the most important reforms that need to be introduced to achieve this. In my opinion, learning from each other will help us to assess and improve our own health systems.
“But learning from each other will call for measuring, evaluating and comparing the quality of our health systems. Indeed, the benefits of successful reforms go above and beyond the health system: health is wealth, and a healthier population is a more productive population,” he said.
He called on West African Health Ministers to take crucial steps to improve health systems in their respective countries.
This, he said, must be done through the implementation of effective prevention measures that would address challenges affecting health care delivery and change the appalling health indices of the region.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, said there is the need to build a robust and resilient health system as well as design policies that will prioritize the needs of the marginalized in society.
Kassi-Brou, who was represented by the commissioner, Private Sector Promotion, ECOWAS, Hon. Mamadou Traore, said that the summit received 2021 WAHO report, and discussed the potential of vaccine manufacturers in the region.
He said that the main objective of the meeting was to create a framework for collaboration, information exchange and provision of a platform for vaccine producers in the region to discuss strategically, methods of improving support amongst peers necessary for building-up the regional hub for vaccines production.
Okolo urged the Ministers to strengthen the capacity of their laboratories as well as organize numerous training sessions on relevant topics in order to contain disease outbreaks in the region.
In spite of the credible achievements of the region in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, there is the need to improve on the health indicators in the major areas of focus for the sub-region.
He cited maternal and neonatal health child, adolescent and youth health, research development, traditional medicine, human resources for health and the promotion and dissemination of good practices as some of these areas.
“We are convinced that with the implementation of this vision 2030, WAHO will be able to continue to serve you well in this decade.
“The challenges facing the organisation should be critically addressed, particularly the issue of its location outside a capital city with difficulties of travel, attraction of international staff and opportunity for interdependencies with other international and diplomatic institutions.
“We need to reflect on the non-sustainability of over dependence on international donors for our health intervention programmes” he said.
NAN recalls that the high-Level meeting was organised to discuss with ECOWAS, potential vaccines manufacturers and stakeholders, issues pertaining to and how the individual manufacturers would identify particular vaccines of interest to produce.
It looked at the various levels of building scientific capacity of relevance on vaccine development and other vaccine-related activities, the engagement of contract clinical research organizations (CRO) and technology platforms of high yield, high quality product, using the most cost-effective methodologies available as well as clinical trial centers.
The scale-up of the deployment of experts in the region and to strengthen the supply and distribution channels and cold chain systems with meaningful and sustainable recommendations, were also looked at.
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