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Health Leaders Gather To Discuss WHO’s Work In Africa

Health leaders from 46 African WHO member states gathered in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on Monday for the 60th session of the Africa Committee of the WHO, Agencia AngolaPress reports. According to the news service, meeting attendees will discuss a report on the WHO Africa’s activity in the region during the 2008-2009 period to evaluate the success and challenges associated with efforts to improve health outcomes in Africa (8/30).

A separate Agencia AngolaPress article reports that WHO Regional Director for Africa Luis Gomes Sambo presented the six-chapter report on Monday. The report “provides a framework of the reference and outlines goals, describes the context of execution of the 2008-2009 Budget/Programme, and presents the priorities for the mentioned period, including the planning of concerned resources” (8/30).

“Among health and health-related issues which will dominate this year’s session are multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis; the harmful use of alcohol; cancer of the cervix; the use of e-Health solutions in the African Region; recurrent epidemics and emergency preparedness and response; the implication of the global financial crisis for the health sector in the African Region and a proposal by Dr. Sambo for the establishment of an African public health emergency fund,” according to a WHO press release (8/27).

Meanwhile, the president of Equatorial Guinea, Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, on Monday addressed the conference about the role scientific research should play in improving the health needs of the people of Africa, according to a third Agencia AngolaPress article.

“It is necessary – a great research effort to improve our intervention in fighting against sicknesses that devastate our people on the continent,” he said, according to the newspaper (8/30).

“The five-day meeting will be attended by more than 500 participants, including the [WHO] Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, … and representatives of United Nations Agencies, Funds, Programmes as well as a number of bilateral, multilateral, Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations,” the WHO release notes (8/27).