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Ecowas urges member states to align with regional, int’l health plans

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ECOWAS chairman, President Sirleaf stressed importance of aligning health policies of Member States with regional and international health plans.

ECOWAS chairman, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has stressed the importance of aligning the health policies of Member States with regional and international health sector plans.

President Sirleaf was speaking at her Foreign Ministry Office in Monrovia on September 16 2016, when she received a delegation from the West African Health Organization (WAHO) led by the institution’s Director General, Dr. Xavier Crespin.

President Sirleaf thanked the WAHO Director General for the visit and congratulated him for his preferment as head of the organization. 

She informed that the United States (US) Centre for Disease Control is taking off even as Liberia is concluding the legal processes for the establishment of a National Public Institute of Health to focus on disease control and research.

She told the WAHO boss that Liberia was proud to be committing 12% of its National Budget to the health sector, just 3% below the standard requirement of at least 15% despite the many challenges faced by the country.

President Sirleaf praised WAHO and its leadership for doing a great job thus far and pleaded she would continue to work with WAHO and the rest of the international community in tackling global health issues.

The WAHO Director General informed the Liberian leader that the health organization has been working on several issues concerning:

– disease control and epidemic; 

– regional rapid intervention mechanisms; 

– medicines and vaccines; 

– human health development and others as key programme priorities.

“We are committed to working with the Liberian health officials and the health sector of all of the countries of the region” He said.

According to Dr. Crespin, WAHO is currently working on budgeting for the construction of regional health institutions between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire and Liberia and Sierra Leone as well as regional hospitals to strengthen laboratory capacity.

Dr. Crespin also briefed President Sirleaf on the pending high-level meeting to be held in Liberia. 

The meeting will review partner/donors pledges, commitments and interventions in the health sector in the region.

The Liberian Foreign Minister, Marjon Kamara, Health Dr. Minister Bernice Dahn were among other senior Liberian officials who were on hand for the visit of the WAHO delegation.

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