WAHO Day commemorated
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
African Health Organisations (WAHO) recently commemorated WAHO Day at its
headquarters in Burkina Faso. The theme
for this year’s celebration was "Reform of Health Information Systems: a
challenge for informed decisions making at all levels of the Ecowas
Delivering his annual message, Dr. Placido Cardoso, WAHO director general stated that reliable quality information remains the main foundation of any public health action, especially when resources are limited and there is a need for proper allocation of funds that are likely to save lives.
that 25 years ago, heads of state and government of the West African region
motivated by a common vision adopted the protocol establishing the West African
Health Organisation, a specialised health institution born of the merger
between the Francophone Organisation for Coordination and Cooperation for Major
Endemic Disease Control (OCCGE) and the Anglophone West African Heath Community
“Like in the previous years, it is my honour to address you on the occasion of the 25th WAHO Day.It is fitting to remember in July of every year that decision whose multifaceted gains can be seen in the health sector.Beyond the memories and tributes earned, the time is ripe on one hand, to make our Institution more visible through the various events that all countrieshold annually and on another hand, to promote a health theme that is common to us all,” he said.
the theme, Dr. Cardoso said, they are of the view that this is a topical issue
for various reasons known and recognised by nearly everyone. According to him,
there is an urgent need at present to offer significant improvements in the
quality of national health information systems across the Ecowas region because
they are a fundamental component of health systems.
situations of emerging diseases, especially when they are serious threats to
human health, it is critical to have consistent information for both the prevention
of epidemics at national level, and the prevention of pandemicsas well as adequate management of
considering health information a priority health intervention throughout the
Ecowas region, he stated, the West African Health Organisation intendsto align themselves with the current
international context, beginning with the need to monitortheir countries’ commitments in
relation to the Millennium Development Goals by fulfilling the requirements of
the new International Health Regulations, complying with resolutions of the United Nations Special Session on
HIV/AIDS, being involved in the
international partnership for Roll Back Malaria and a lot of other initiatives.
context, Dr. Cardoso disclosed that WAHO’s direct involvement in strengthening national health information systems
capacity is gaining awareness and a responsible way of toeing the only path
leading to sub-regional integration and providing more visibility to the results of ongoing efforts aimed at
achieving the objectives of international commitments.
I call on all to take the path that will lead to the integration of health
information at country level and its full utilisation for sensitive and
relevant decision making likely to promote the development of health systems
and facilitate the prevention and control of diseases. It is my fervent wish
that countries in particular work together to derive more benefits from the use
of limited resources, both human and financial, for an Integrated Health Information
System,” he noted.
He urged partners to line up with the priority needs expressed by countries. According to him, the best way to support is to successfully meet the needs expressed by the one who makes the request. The reality in countries of the sub-region requires partners to undertake a concerted and coordinated effort.
expressed hope that together they will arrive at establishing, within a short
time, health information systems that are strong enough, able to ensure the
flow of quality information in order, among other things, to foster
harmonisation of policies, support the coordination of disease surveillance and
response to epidemics, facilitate cross-border collaboration, promotion of best
practices and adequate resource mobilisation, etc.
Dr. Cardoso acknowledged the individual and collective commitment of all Ecowas Member States to health issues in general and particularly for their efforts in promoting quality health information despite their shortcomings. “WAHO would like to reiterate, through me, its appreciation and availability to all Honourable Ministers of Health of our region, and all partners for all the efforts made to ensure to our populations the welfare they so long for,” he added.
Author: Momodou Faal