A two-day briefing for new Ministers of Health in the WHO African Region, has ended today in Brazzaville, Congo. Ministers of health from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea participated in the event which aimed at fostering better understanding of how WHO functions and on the main areas of possible collaboration with Member States.

Ministers of health in the WHO African region play a critical role in providing political leadership and making major executive decisions on a variety of issues relating to health in their respective countries. At the country level, WHO works closely with health ministries and partners to ensure that the overall health goals of governments are achieved.

“The context in which WHO and Health Ministries conduct business keeps evolving and there is growing expectation of people for improved health outcomes in our countries,” said Dr Aka Aouele Minister of Health and Public Hygiene. “This meeting provided a unique platform for discussions on key issues that are relevant to the specific role of Health Ministers. It also equipped us with the necessary skills to ensure continuity in collaboration and sustain the health achievements attained.”

Welcoming the Ministers, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Moeti noted that as members of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa - the organization’s governing body, health ministers formulate regional health policies and provide guidance on the work of WHO in the African region, among others.

“As Ministers of health carry out their functions both within and across the health sector, there is the need to support them in every way possible as part of the WHO’s contribution to enable them to attain national regional, and global health development goals”, she said.

Among the issues discussed were: Health security in the African region, universal health coverage, 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13), the Transformation Agenda and WHO’s support to implement national health agendas.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).