Building synergy in the West African health sector
On 16 September, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who is also the current ECOWAS Chairwoman, met in Monrovia with Xavier Crespin, the Director General of the West African Health Organization (WAHO). President Sirleaf said that it is important to have more coherence between the health plans of individual West African countries and the plans of regional and international organisations. The Ebola epidemic highlighted the importance of strengthening the region’s health infrastructure and its co-ordination capacity. WAHO is preparing budgets for the construction of regional health institutions covering Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire, and Liberia and Sierra Leone, in addition to regional hospitals that will strengthen laboratory capacity. A high-level meeting, to be held in Liberia, will take stock of the regional and international commitments and interventions in the region’s health sector. It is a key priority to improve health care services and ensure access for all ECOWAS citizens. President Sirleaf announced that Liberia is currently committing 12% of its budget to the health sector.
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