Health Care Professional Associations Workshop, Burkina Faso
26-29 March 2008
HCPs meet in Burkina Faso
Ouagadougou , 26 March 2008 - Health decision-makers joined more than 60 health care professionals (HCPs) from Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Mali, Niger and Senegal to mark the opening of a regional workshop on the role of HCPs in the achievement of MDGs 4 and 5. The opening ceremony included speeches from Burkina Faso's State Minister and Minister of Health, Dr Alain Bédouma Yoda and Mrs Priscille Zongo, wife of the Prime Minister of Burkina Faso (speaking on behalf of the First Lady of Burkina Faso, Mrs. Chantal Compaoré) and Dr Francisco Songane, Director of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.
Dr Songane warmly thanked participants and attendees for the enormous attention being given to maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). He pointed to the strong engagement, support and attendance at the HCP workshop as evidence of the strength of the support for MNCH issues. Dr Songane outlined the trends related to MDGs 4 and 5, noting the high mortality rates in sub-Saharan Africa for mothers and children. He highlighted the importance of the role of health care professionals in contributing to national efforts to reduce those mortality rates and achieve MDGs 4 and 5
Dr Yoda pointed to the importance of MNCH especially in its effect on other aspects of society. "The improvement of maternal newborn and child health will be without a doubt beneficial for all (our) countries," said Dr Yoda. He outlined the efforts undertaken by Burkina Faso in order to achieve MDG 4 and 5 goals and targets and thanked health care professionals for their present work, encouraging them to continue their efforts. Finally he congratulated all participants for their efforts and thanked the Partnership for choosing to hold the workshop in Burkina Faso
Speaking on behalf of the First Lady, Mrs Priscille Zongo noted the sombre mood which she related to the shocking reality of the poor state of maternal, newborn and child health. Mrs Zongo asked the participants to keep-up their spirits, as she herself found hope from seeing the meeting in progress: "Knowing that such technical competencies have been brought together here, there is no doubt that a solution will be found," she said. Mrs Zongo highlighted the high levels of MNC mortality in Burkina Faso and thanked the Partnership for the support that it has brought to the country and to the scaling-up of MNCH services in Burkina Faso. She hoped to this would in part help resolve the crisis related to human resources for health.
Following the opening ceremony, the sixty-odd participants began the workshop. An introductory presentation outlined the global and regional situation of MNCH, of human resources for health and provided information about the Partnership and the context for me meeting set the scene for participants. Work began immediately with a focus on the role and the organizational strengthening of HCP associations. Presentations and panel followed as what marked the beginning of a workshop rich in debate and exchange.