WHO Regional Director for Africa calls for greater emphasis on MNCH in West African countries
5 MAY 2011 | LOME, TOGO – The WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Luis Gomes Sambo put women and children’s health in the spotlight at the 12th Ordinary Meeting of the Assembly of ECOWAS Health Ministers. Addressing delegates at the assembly’s official opening, Dr Sambo commended the sub region for the important progress made addressing the recurrent epidemics in West African countries but said when it comes to the Millennium Development Goals, the pace of progress in West African states so far is not enough to attain the targets. He stressed the need to place greater emphasis on improving maternal and child health and noted that the establishment of the Regional Commission on Women’s health under the Chairmanship of President Sirleaf Johnson of Liberia will assist in leveraging this important agenda.
Prime Minister of Togo Gilbert Fosson Houngo also focused on MNCH in his opening remarks about the health challenges facing the sub-region, underscoring the importance of placing women, children and vulnerable people at the centre of development strategies. In this regard he said: “The Republic of Togo, last year successfully launched the Campaign for the Acceleration of the Reduction of Maternal Mortality in Africa (CARMA) and also decided to provide free access to caesarean surgery.”