The work of WHO in the African Region 2016-2017 : Biennial Report of the Regional Director
This biennial report presents an overview of the contribution of WHO in the African Region to improving health in countries, through support to Member States in collaboration with health development partners. The work was carried out at a time of growing optimism, with stock-taking on the Millennium Development Goals having shown that African countries did make significant progress, including reductions in new HIV infections among young people and HIV-related and child deaths. The place of health on the global development agenda continues to improve; this was demonstrated by the G20 Heads of State at this year’s G20 Summit in Germany, who committed to joint action to safeguard against health crises, strengthen health systems and combat antimicrobial resistance, while African Union Heads of State endorsed declarations on immunization and the International Health Regulations, in January and July 2017 respectively.
Member States in the African Region have seized the opportunities arising from global recognition of the urgency of improving countries’ capacity and preparedness to address disease outbreaks and public health emergencies, highlighted by the tragic Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa. We have led independent evaluations of national capacities and are supporting the development of plans aimed at filling identified gaps; this will assist in mobilizing the required resources, moving countries closer to required IHR capacities, and ensuring that an epidemic of this magnitude does not recur. The reform of WHO’s own Health Emergencies Programme is progressing apace and already demonstrating improved speed and effectiveness in supporting the control of outbreaks of meningitis, Lassa fever, Rift Valley fever, cholera and yellow fever in the Region.
Dr Matshidiso Moeti
WHO Regional Director for Africa