By Kadrie Koroma
Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister 1, Madam Madina Rahman has officially opened a three-day West African Health Organization (WAHO) Fourth Annual Review of National Programmes for Mother, Newborn, Child, Adolescent and Youth Health (MNCAYH) programme on Thursday November 16, 2017 at the Sierra Light House, Aberdeen in Freetown.
Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister 1 Madam
Declaring the Review open, Madam Madina Rahman reiterated that the Review is the continued implementation of the objectives of the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to improve the health of the people of West Africa and at the same time working with other Health Organization around the world.
She said the West African Health Organization (WAHO), in collaboration with its partners held reviews of National Programmes for Reproductive Health, Mother, Newborn and Child Health of ECOWAS Member States in Lomé 2012, Ouagadougou 2013 and Dakar 2016 respectively.
Cross section of participants
Madam Rahman informed her audience that the review is being organized to enable all the countries and their partners to assess the progress made towards attaining the Post Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Agenda and the Global Strategy for Mother, Child and Adolescent Health and the Operationalization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
She said according to the Report of the 2015 Evaluation of the Maputo Action Plan and in spite of the remarkable progress made, Africa could not meet the goal of reducing maternal mortality ratio by three quarters the levels of the 90s. She added that the continent was able to reduce it by 48.7 percent from 830 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births to 426 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births.
The Deputy Minister reminded all that the fourth review meeting was held in Sierra Leone with the overall objective to evaluate the progress made in implementing priority interventions to meet global, regional and national targets for MNCAYH in order to build on lessons for improving Reproductive Health indicators in the region.
Speaking on behalf of the Director General of WAHO, the Director of Primary Health Care, WAHO, Dr. Kofi Busia said at the end of the Millennium Development Goals, the region made significant progress and was able to reduce maternal mortality ratio by 56 percent and infant-juvenile mortality by 50 percent between 2000 and 2015.
Director of Primary Health Care, WAHO, Dr. Kofi Busia
He acknowledged that lot of work remains to be done and innovations are needed to build on the achievements of the MDGs and to have more results and success in achieving the SDGs through the operationalization and implementation, effective monitoring and evaluation of global and regional initiatives such as the Global Strategy for Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Agenda 2063 and the African Union’s 2017 Action Plan, “Investing in youth to attain the Demographic Dividend”, the Ouagadougou Partnership and the Global Movements”.
Dr. BUsia told the gathering that emphasis must be placed on the health of women, newborns, children and adolescents who are key to development and to effectively attain the Demographic Dividend through strategic partnership, and in line with the priorities of developing countries, community and region.
He said the 2016-2020b Strategic Plan of WAHO adopted by the 48th Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS contains objectives, strategies and interventions for addressing the challenges related to the health of the mother, newborn, child, adolescents, young people and the elderly.
The opening ceremony was chaired by the WAHO Liaison Officer, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Mr. Yayah Conteh
The Review meeting ends on Saturday November 18, 2017.