MoH&SW orients journalists on WAHO Day commemoration
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH&SW) on Saturday held a day’s orientation for journalists from both the print and electronic media, on the commemoration of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) Day, at the TANGO conference hall. The theme of this year’s celebration was, “Reform of Health Information System: a challenge for reformed decisions making at all levels of the ECOWAS region”.
the press briefing, Dr. Makkie Taal, the deputy permanent secretary technical
at the Heatlh Ministry, deputising for the Health minister, disclosed that on
July 9th, 1987,heads of state and
government of the West African region unilaterally adopted the protocol
establishing the West African Health Organization (WAHO).
The organisation, he said, is a specialised health institution derived from merging the francophone Organization for Coordination and Cooperation for Major Endemic Disease Control (OCCGE) and Anglophone West African Health Community (WAHC) and WAHO, and that through its mandate, it has contributed immensely in disease control and elimination in the sub-region.
According to him, availability of reliable and quality health information is very high on government’s development agaenda. He said it is crucial to have consistent information for both the prevention of epidemics at national level and the prevention of pandemics, as well as adequate management of cases. Health information, he went on, has been described as the “foundation for better health; as the ‘glue’ holding the health system together, and as the ‘oil’ keeping the health system running”.
Dr. Taal said that evidence have shown that a strong health information system (HIS) is an integral part of health system, the operational boundaries of which include all resources, organisations and actors that are involved in the regulation, financing and provision of actions whose primary intent is to protect, promote or improve health.
He pointed out that new challenges are now emerging, stimulated by the increased use of performance-based disbursement mechanism associated with increase financial flows to health interventions. The challenges, he noted, also emanate from the need for national health information in the context of the decentralisation of public health services.
The health management information officer at the Ministry of Health, Musa Sowe, said health information is very important in the health information system and solicits the journalists to pass the information to the general public. The president of Health Journalists Association, Fatou Touray thanked the Ministry of Health and urged them to work with the journalists to effectively deliver the message to the general public.
Author: Arfang Camara