WHO ‘scales up’ health interventions in Africa

A mother and child receive nutritional advice. The World Health Organization has unveiled a new set of priority actions to better address preventable health conditions in Africa. Photo by: Noor Khamis / Department for International Development / CC BY-NC-ND

The World Health Organization has unveiled a new set of priority actions to better address preventable health conditions in Africa.

The U.N. agency presented its updated health promotion strategy at the 62nd WHO Regional Committee for Africa session in Luanda, Angola.

The new 10-year strategy highlights what WHO, member states and other stakeholders can do to “scale up” efforts to reduce primary causes of preventable deaths, illnesses, injuries, and new and re-emerging threats to health in the African region, WHO Regional Director for Africa Luis Sambo said.

The seven proposed actions are:

  • Empower the stewardship role of the ministries of health.

  • Strengthen national technical and institutional capacity for health promotion.

  • Sustain institutional capacity for health promotion at the national, regional and local levels.

  • Gather and share best practices and effective approaches.

  • Establish sustainable finance models for health promotion activities.

  • Strengthen functional partnerships, alliances and networks.

  • Ensure community-level involvement across various stages of health promotion.

At the regional committee session, which runs Nov. 19-23, Sambo noted the progress made in advancing access to and use of vaccines and antiretroviral drugs. He also proposed to create a regional medicines agency to fortify Africa’s pharmaceutical industry.

More than 350 delegates are attending the five-day session. Health promotion, HIV treatment and prevention, and human rights are among the topics for discussion. WHO’s work plan for the next two years and its proposed budget for 2014-2015 are on the agenda as well.

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    Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news for the Development Newswire. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.