African Health Ministers to discuss ways to improve the health and well-being of people

Brazzaville/Victoria Falls, 21 August 2017 - Health Ministers from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) African Region will be gathering in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe from 20 August – 1 September for the annual WHO Regional Committee for Africa to discuss a range of strategies and actions aimed at improving the health and well-being of people in the Region.  The Regional Committee is the Organization’s highest decision-making body on health in the Region and its decisions have over the years contributed immensely in the region’s health development.

The week-long session is organised by the WHO in the African Region and hosted by the Government of Zimbabwe. Among the dignitaries attending the meeting are; the newly-elected Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Gebreyesus Adhanom; WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Representatives of UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, civil society, bilateral, multilateral organizations and other development partners.

High on the agenda of the meeting is a report on the Work of WHO in the African Region during the 2016-2017 biennium, to be presented by the Regional Director.  The report will highlight successes achieved and challenges faced by WHO in its quest to help improve health in the Region.

Delegates will discuss a Framework for the implementation of the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health (health workforce 2030) in the African Region. According to the World Health Report 2006, the African Region has the most severe health workforce (HWF) shortage in the world. As countries in the Region accelerate progress towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC), the aim of the framework is to guide them in making adequate investments to ensure universal access to skilled and motivated health workers.

A Regional strategy for the management of environmental determinants of human health in the African region 2017–2021 will also be deliberated on. The strategy proposes ways to address the negative health and economic impact of natural and man-made disasters frequently experienced in the African Region.

As demographic, economic, social, security and environmental changes continue to place unique demands on health and related service delivery systems, delegates will discuss a framework of actions that countries in the region need to consider in strengthening and re-aligning their health systems to ensure that they are able to achieve their health development goals.

Also slated for discussion by the five-day Session are WHO’s proposed Programme Budget for the 2018- 2019 biennium; reducing health inequities through intersectoral action on the social determinants of health; report on the implementation of the decade of action for road safety in the African region; progress on polio eradication in the African region and the status of implementation of the polio eradication and endgame strategic plan 2013– 2018; progress on the implementation of the reform of WHO’s work on emergencies in the African region; global health sector strategy on sexually transmitted infections 2016-2021: implementation framework for the African region; framework for implementing the global strategy to eliminate yellow fever epidemics (eye), 2017–2026 in the African region among others.

A daily conference journal (RC67 Journal) will be posted on the web every morning from 29 August 2017.

Social media:

The WHO Regional Office for Africa will provide regular updates from the Regional Committee via Twitter.
Follow us @WHOAFRO and use the hashtag #AFRC67.

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