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Author Topic: ECOWAS health ministers want action on non-communicable diseases  (Read 2896 times)
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Francis Umeoguaju
Expert in Bioscience Issues
Posts: 657

« on: June 04, 2011, 01:27:53 pm »

Health Ministers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have underlined the need to develop actions to combat non-communicable diseases, currently a real public health issues in the region.
This was at a three-day meeting held in Lome, Republic of Togo, which  dwelt on such issues as harmonisation and classification of healthcare units, quality of health care in the region, financing of health non-communicable diseases and the quality of health care.

The health ministers, while recognising the importance of establishing and strengthening public-private partnership, given its crucial role in ensuring sustainable improvement of health indicators,  urged member countries to ensure that 15 per cent of their national budget was dedicated to health.

In the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting that was signed by Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, the health ministers  stated that allocate 15 per cent of their national budget to health as contained in the Abuja commission was imperative to enable member countries better cater for the population’s health needs and non-communicable diseases.

They called for the recognition of the importance of establishing and strengthening public and private partnership given its crucial role in ensuring a sustainable improvement of health indicators.

The ministers expressed their solidarity with the citizens of all countries of the region that experienced post-conflict health issues.
Prime Minister, Republic of Togo, Mr Gilbert Houngbo in his keynote address, stressed the need for a more effective regional research programme on management of epidemics and endemic diseases.

He stated that a more voluntary approach to understanding science and technology be used in science.
WAHO Director General, Dr Placido Cardoso, who remarked that successes were made in improving health indicators in ECOWAS region, stated that much effort was still required to ensure the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

At the meeting WAHO was charged to organise an extraordinary meeting of ECOWAS health ministers this year to discuss integration of activities in malaria control with particular emphasis on vector control as well as the ultimate eradication of the disease in the continent.

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