By Kadrie KoromaDeputy Health and Sanitation Minister 1, Madam Madina Rahman has opened the WAHO 7th Annual Review of Activities of the Regional Programme on “Reproductive Health and HIV Prevention in the ECOWAS Region” on Thursday November 23, 2017 at the Bintumani Hotel, Aberdeen in Freetown.
Deputy Health and Sanitation Minister 1, Madam Madina Rahman
The overall objective of the meeting was to review all the interventions carried out during 2017, more specifically to determine the level of achievement within the five (5) pilot countries, identify success factors, lessons learned, constrains related to the implementation, and formulate guidelines and recommendations for the coming year.
Declaring the Annual Review opened, Madam Madina Rahman underscored the importance of the review, stating that it will promote systematic review of information from all stakeholders, with a view to enhancing programme implementation.
She informed her audience that the review is crucial for the countries in the light of the overall situation of reproductive health and HIV prevalence in the West African sub-region.
Madam Rahman re-affirmed government’s commitment to reproductive health issues which remains an important part of the Presidential programme. She added that the government has been implementing initiatives to increase access to family planning by women and girls especially adolescent girls, adding that they are committed to supporting WAHO’s efforts to improve the health of these vulnerable groups.
She called on the representatives of the various countries in the review to embark on an in-depth reflection and a participatory evaluation of information that will be presented, adding that the actions may contribute to achieve the overall objective of the Regional Financing Mechanism, to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality in ECOWAS countries.
The Deputy Minister acknowledged both the quality of actions and achievements of WAHO as a regional health institution in the area of reproductive health, adding that successes achieved are based on the outcome of the management team, the staff determination, and a clear commitment of countries and partners to the disturbing health issues.
She congratulated all the stakeholders and assured of their readiness to provide support for the success of the review.
WAHO Deputy Director General, Dr. Laurent Assogba said the review will determine the level of achievements within the five pilot countries and in addition Technical and Financial partners involved in the implementation of the Regional programme including Family Planning Programme Managers, Procurement Managers and Accountants.
He told the gathering that the objective of the review goes a long way, aim at improving the health of the people especially mothers and children.
Dr. Assogba spoke of the HIV programme and the challenges in the ECOWAS region that needs to be sustained, adding that there is need to meet the demand on family planning through contraceptive.
He reiterated that emphasis must be placed on the health of women, newborn, children and adolescent 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.
WAHO Deputy Director General stated that the Strategic Plan of WAHO adopted by the 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.
Highlight of the opening ceremony include welcome address by WAHO Programme Officer, Cletus Adohinzin, and a conducted tour on the different booths climaxed the ceremony.