The Director General of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO), Dr. Xavier Crespin has expressed the need for a research fund and policy to guide research agenda of member countries to inform policy decision.
Addressing the West African Network of Emerging Leaders in Health Policy and Systems here in Niamey, capital city of Niger on Thursday, Dr. Crespin said research must not be conducted for the shelves.
“Research is fundamental, we need research fund and policy, we need action research to provide evidence to influence policies,” Dr. Crespin said.
The WANEL is a network of mid-level and junior health policy and system advocates who seek to influence policy making to improve the health delivery system.
They also have as their vision, to network through mentoring the next generation of emerging health system actors.
The theme of the second meeting of the network is “Amplifying influences of West African emerging research and practice leaders in health policy and systems.
The WAHO is a specialised agency created by the ECOWAS in 1987 to harmonise health policies and coordinate efforts towards disease prevention and control to enhance public health.
Dr. Crespin noted that action research would help improve health indicators, especially child and maternal health, stressing on the need for research to generate the data for evidence-based decision making.
Reacting to concerns from the network, Dr. Crespin pledged WAHO’s support to building the capacities of members of the network to help in improving the health systems in the sub region.
Dr. Crespin observed that the Organisation had financial and human resources challenges, but that notwithstanding it had helped to mobilise resources to tackle the Ebola crises.
On the finances, he said the Organisation only receive 50 per cent of its budgetary support which comes mainly from the ECOWAS.
He expressed the need for more support in funding and human resource improvement for the Organisation to efficiently deliver on its mandate.
Dr. Crespin hinted of the “one Health Approach” which would involve working with other sectors including education, food and agriculture, communication to improve human development saying that improving human development transcends health.
He said WAHO had helped to harmonise the health curriculum of member countries tertiary institutions and expressed the need to overcome language barriers for effective communication for better service delivery.
From Salifu Abdul -Rahaman, Niamey