By Omar Bah
The director general of West African Health Organisation, (Waho) said West Africa is on the right track to attaining a healthier and progressive region.
Professor Stanley Okolo was speaking yesterday on the sidelines of the 19th Ordinary Assembly of Ecowas Health Ministers underway in The Gambia.
“Yes we have significant challenges in the region, but I think we have to be objective in our assessment. We are a region that is on the move. Remember this is the region that was hit by Ebola, and was able to mobilise resources in a network with the help of our partners to take up that challenge,” Professor Okolo told delegates.
He added: “…the economics of Ecowas is far advanced in terms of coming together. It is not as if we are very needy. Yes, we need the partnership but that does not mean we lag far behind.”
Meeting with partners
Professor Okolo said meetings with their development partners “will avail both parties the opportunity to discuss on issues related to activities that Waho have been engaged in over the years and the way forward.
“These are partners who put lots of energy and resources in what we do by providing us funds through our organisations and through us to our countries. And these are people who absolutely do this, for no commercial gain for themselves,” he added.
The partners, which include UNODC, Interpol, WHO, Unowa, and Giaba, he added, are agencies and direct government agents who are interested in helping West Africa develop and advance its health systems.
“Apart from funding our activities, they also help us in terms of capacity building.”
He said the meeting availed donors the opportunity to assess Waho on what it was doing over the years with funds donated to them.