The World Health Organisation Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti has concluded her official visit to Senegal at the invitation of the Senegalese Government. The visit was from 26 -28 February 2018.
The three day visit was aimed at further strengthening cooperation with the Government of Senegal and to identify areas that WHO could further support the country in its health development efforts.
On the first leg of the visit, the Regional Director and his delegation visited the Institut Pasteur of Dakar (IPD), a WHO Collaborating Centre in the prevention and control of viral haemorrhagic fevers and arboviruses. “I am highly impressed with the Institut Pasteur of Dakar’s support to countries in their response to health emergencies. That is why we intend to strengthen our collaboration with this very important technical institution,” she stated.
Dr Moeti and her delegation held a working session with the Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Mr Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr and high ranking officials of the health ministry. The working session afforded both delegations the opportunity to share the good results achieved in the prevention and control of malaria, HIV/AIDS, maternal, infant and child mortality and expansion of immunization coverage.
The Regional Director paid a courtesy call on the Prime Minister of Senegal, Mahammed Boun Abdallah Dionne. They discussed progress towards implementation of the universal health coverage, including health financing. The Senegalese Prime Minister expressed the government’s commitment for a phased increase of the resources allocated to the health sector until they attain 15% of the state budget. He noted that the Senegalese National Development agenda (Plan Sénégal Emergent (Emerging Senegal Plan), places priority on health, given its vital role in sustainable development.
Dr Moeti applauded ongoing efforts to improve the health of Senegalese people especially women, children and the elderly. Referring to the Plan Sénégal Emergent (Emerging Senegal Plan, She observed that the government’s commitment to improving health and social security, is aligned with the objectives of the Transformation Agenda that is currently being implemented by the WHO Regional Office for Africa.
A working session with heads of United Nations Agencies in Senegal was held and the Regional Director advocated for joint action with all the other development sectors to address social determinants of health.
On the last leg of the visit, Dr Moeti visited a Public health facility (EPS) located at M’bour, 84 km from Dakar, where a pilot experiment of a public-private partnership to improve quality care is underway. She noted that the private sector plays an important role in strengthening the health system because it can provide additional financial resources and technical capacity. She hoped that the M’bour pilot experiment could be documented and modeled by other countries in the African region as best practices.
Commenting on the visit, Dr Moeti said: “I came to Senegal to learn more about the country’s health achievements, its good practices, the challenges that need to be tackled and the Government’s expectations in terms of the support that we can provide for health system strengthening and the improvement of the health of the population.