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WHO, experts propose new health plan for Africa

Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja

The World Health Organization (WHO), global leaders and health experts are coming together at the continent’s seminal health-focused event to identify workable solutions that will strengthen healthcare services in Africa.

A statement made available to the Daily Times on Wednesday revealed that the WHO Africa Health Forum coming up on March 26 – 28 2019 in Praia, Cape Verde, also aims at delivering more effective health security services as well as significant inroads toward achieving universal health coverage.

According to the statement, the government of Cape Verde in collaboration with the WHO regional office for Africa, will host the second WHO Africa Health Forum which has the theme: “Achieving universal health coverage and health security: The Africa we want to see.’’

The statement quoted the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti as saying, “Africa’s health challenges have become increasingly complex.

With the continent facing a growing number of outbreaks and the dual challenges of communicable diseases and chronic illnesses, we can’t continue with business as usual.

“This forum will introduce innovations and kick-start new partnerships that will reshape how we practice health.’’

On his part, the Minister for Health and Social Security in Cape Verde, Arlindo do Rosário, pointed out that the forum is taking place in Cape Verde because the country has made huge strides in healthcare services since it became independent in 1975.

According to him, the government of Cape Verde has introduced such innovations as telemedicine and brought primary healthcare to within 30 minutes of where 80 per cent of the population live.

“Africa faces a number of healthcare priorities and challenges resulting from epidemics and droughts, poor sanitation, lack of clean drinking water, insufficient numbers of trained medics and scarcity of access to affordable healthcare.

“While delegates will be conscious of the financial constraints facing many African countries, we look forward to the forum’s insights on the intricacies of healthcare in Africa and the actions and solutions to create the policies, and pan-African collaboration necessary to reach Africa’s goal of universal health coverage and health security,’’ he added.