Preparations in Cabo Verde for the World Health Organization (WHO) 2nd African Health Forum on the theme Achieving Universal Health Coverage and Health Security in Africa: The Africa We Want to See are going on schedule. Over 600 participants are expected to join the event from 26 to 28thof March in Praia City, as well as more than 50 panelists and speakers from key institutions.
Confirmed guest speakers include H.E. Jorge Carlos Fonseca, President of the Republic of Cabo Verde, H.E. Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, H.E. Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. It is also expected the participation of H.E. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, where the first edition of the Forum took place two years ago.
The 2nd AHF will gather most ministers of health of the African region and other government senior officials, as well as representatives from key stakeholders of the health sector, such as academia, NGOs, foundations, private sector, and women and youth organizations. It will also include the thirty finalists of the contest "Harnessing innovative solutions”, which will showcase the latest innovations of key entrepreneurs in the health sector in Africa.
In order to speed up the preparations in Cabo Verde, the Council of Ministers established by official appointment an inter-ministerial commission to support the World Health Organization in the local organization of the Forum.
This commission chaired by the Ministry of Health and Social Security is going to guarantee a safe and warm welcoming to all participants to Cabo Verde, while assuring that the good practices of the country to achieve Universal Health Coverage, tackle Health Emergencies and promote Health Security and Healthier Populations are shared with the delegations that will join the Forum. This commission will coordinate all local logistics in the country with the support of WHO, as well as the local organization and implementation of the activities of the Forum.
The WHO Country Representative, Dr. Mariano Salazar, highlighted that Cabo Verde has been recognized due to its strong commitment to build strong and resilient health systems that resulted in the elimination of Polio in 2016 and currently the certification process of HIV vertical transmission and congenic syphilis elimination, as well as malaria, measles and rubella elimination by 2020. Likewise, the country attained sustainedimmunization coverage above 90%, with no significant Vaccine Preventable Disease outbreaks recorded in the last 15 years.
“The holistic approach and intersectoral integration and collaboration to promote health have been acknowledged as an important achievement. An initiative such as the Presidential Campaign Less Alcohol, More Life was recognized by the UN Interagency Task Force on the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (UNIATF) through an award in 2018. In addition, Cabo Verde has already set up a network of healthy cities and healthy islands and is at an advanced stage in the implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control”, added Dr. Salazar.
Furthermore, Cabo Verde has integrated the United Nations 2030 Agenda in its national development strategy, and its national and municipal health development plans are fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets.
“The Forum will be a unique opportunity to strengthen collaboration with key stakeholders in Africa and build strategic partnership to promote Universal Health Coverage in the continent, while discovering the health sector opportunities and challenges of the Small Island Developing States. The main program is going to be complemented with several side events and a large exhibition fair with booths from key actors in Africa, as well as of the finalists for the African Health Innovation contest”, concluded Dr. Salazar.
The inter-ministerial commission is formed by representatives of the Prime Minister Office, the ministries of Health and Social Security, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Culture and Creative Industries, as well as the Municipality of Praia and the WHO country office in Cabo Verde.
More information on the 2nd AHF website.