KENYA – Kenya has hosted a coordination meeting focused on healthcare cooperation in Nairobi City organized by the World Health Organization (WHO) to brainstorm ways to mount a stronger and coherent health response against drought in the greater Horn of Africa.
The meeting convened by WHO for the specialized agency’s senior specialists and officials sought to map out plans for a coordinated response to curb health risks in the greater Horn of Africa as famine is looming at the doorstep of many households.
The coordination meeting happens at a time when over 80 million people in the African region comprising of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda lack access to food that would meet their basic needs along with safe water.
Across the greater Horn of Africa, WHO is ramping up its response, improving coordination, and streamlining existing efforts and optimizing on resources to ensure we reach more people with life-saving support.
The meeting was attended by the WHO Assistant Director-General for Emergency Response Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall, the WHO Representatives from the 7 countries of the region and other technical expertise to initiate plans for stronger collaboration to respond to the drought in the Horn of Africa .
The participants shared joint measures to improve primary health care interventions including initiatives in the delivery of essential health services, nutrition support and immunization, communication and resource mobilization as well as regional, inter-agency and partner coordination.
During the exchanges, the group held intensive discussions on the alignment of response plans along with talks about health intelligence and information products and systems to deter severe health consequences of the drought in the region.
The participants also finalized on the Contingency Fund for Emergencies run by WHO while country teams agreed on a series of next steps to take to advance recommended action in a move intended to save millions of lives in the greater Horn of Africa.
Coordinating information management
Meanwhile, the information management teams from all 7 countries and representatives from the WHO Regional Office for Africa, Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean and headquarters convened another meeting in Kenya to document the information and data landscape across the region.
The information management teams discussed ways to enhance coordination using 4 health information management pathways particularly products, processes, people and tools as well as the need for monitoring and evaluation of indicators closely linked to health and primary health care.
“Following an analysis of all the different information collection tools and siloed, donor-driven individual disease management systems in the 7 countries, the participants agreed on the need to integrate health information management assets in the countries into a single cohesive integrated system,” says WHO.
The regional team agreed to create a joint situation report every month that combines an epidemiological bulletin and a visually appealing infographic on the drought situation along with a general dashboard that shows drought response activities for each of the 7 countries.
Furthermore , the participants agreed that the joint situation report will present information on malaria activities, cholera, interventions by community health workers, outreach interventions, and severe acute malnutrition stabilization centres in drought-affected areas.
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