Strengthen health system in sub-region …ECOWAS told

The governments in the ECOWAS sub-region have been urged to explore various means of mobilising resources to be able to meet the needs of the citizenry.

This was contained in a communique read by the Executive Director of Alliance for Reproductive Health Rights, Vicky T. Okine, in Accra yesterday after a two-day international workshop to discuss measures and strategies to promote the health of children, women and adolescent in the sub-region.

The event further offered the platform for health experts and policy makers to deliberate on improved interventions that would strengthen the health policy and systems (HPS) of Women, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Wellbeing (WNCAW) in West Africa.

Ms Okine explained that the availability of resources, especially financial and human would ensure effective implementation of the many good initiatives in the various sectors aimed at improving the lives of the populace.

She called on governments in the region to work with providers and users of health system to undertake research that proffers solutions to problems occurring within the health system.

The Executive Director advocated synergy of efforts across different stakeholders and players including local government, civil society organisations, communities and the media to ensure accountability in resource allocation.

MsOkinereiterated the need to address professional health system culture that drive poor responsiveness during training of health workers, and ensure the development of charters that protect the right of staff.

She said the communique also enumerated several interventions including community scorecards assessment, communities of practice, among others which could be rolled out to address some of challenges in the health systems of African countries to better support women, newborn, child and adolescent health and wellbeing improvement in the sub-region.

Ms Okine also called for capacity building at individual, institutional and contextual levels to inform decision making.

She recommended capacity building for journalists to report accurately on health and specifically, issues related to WNCAW.

This,it said would include sensitive and controversial issues such as abortion.

“Build capacity in and support the communities of practice to engage multi-level, multi-sectoral decision makers in policy dialogues about the issues and the search for solutions,” MsOkineadded.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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