WHO Forum comes to a Close in Cabo Verde with Promise to Transform Africa’s Healthcare Sector

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Cabo Verde, a nation on a volcanic archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa, has received a commitment from the World Health Organization (WHO) to help transform Africa’s healthcare sector.

The country recently hosted a three-day Health Forum in its Capital City of Praia. Speaking at the event’s opening ceremony, the country’s President, Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca, demonstrated his support for WHO’s initiatives to transform health care throughout Africa by officially launching the high-profile affair. He told participants about the significant progress that Cabo Verde has made towards delivering universal health coverage.

“We are honoured by the fact that our country is the setting for such an important debate with renowned specialists on such an important issue,” President Fonseca said.

“This is essential for the life and well-being of all people. Crucially, this Forum will have the participation of youth activists who will surely bring their world vision about the way their health issues should be addressed and how they can participate in implementing the decisions that come to be approved.” He added.

Under the theme ‘Achieving Universal Health Coverage and Health Security in Africa: The Africa We Want To See’, the second WHO Africa Health Forum is hosting health care influencers from politics, academia, civil society, development partners and business.

“WHO has been a strategic partner for health development in Cabo Verde, providing technical assistance and financing,” said Cabo Verde Minister of Health and Social Security, Dr Arlindo Nascimento do Rosário.

“The journey to universal health coverage will not only require that we go back to the basics of primary health care – working hand-in-hand with communities – but that we also optimize innovations and today’s fast-moving technological developments to deliver better health for all,” explained Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, who spoke at the opening ceremony.

The first WHO Africa Health Forum, which was held in Kigali, Rwanda in June 2017, resulted in a Call to Action. Significant progress has been made in meeting those goals. New initiatives and multi-stakeholder partnerships have been founded, well-worn mechanisms have been reinvigorated, and countries continue to be supported in strengthening their health systems and preparing for disease outbreaks and health emergencies.

Through the second Africa Health Forum, WHO expects to significantly build on that progress, giving participants the opportunity to share and discuss their experiences in implementing previous commitments and to foster pan-African collaboration between public, private and non-government stakeholders.

During the three-day programme, themes such as the link between health security and achieving universal health coverage, multi-sector collaboration, youth engagement, private sector investment and harnessing innovations will be explored in depth. WHO expects even more partnerships to emerge from this week’s gathering.

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