Health ministers attending the World Health Organization, WHO’s 72nd Regional Committee for Africa in Lome, Togo have approved an eight-year strategy aimed at curbing disease and, responding to health emergencies.
The WHO regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti who disclosed this said the ministers have also launched a new campaign to curb sickle cell disease.
Also, Moeti noted that it was one of the most common, yet least recognized illnesses in the region. However, like childhood tuberculosis, she says it has been pushed to the sidelines for far too long.
After a week of discussions about some of Africa’s most pressing health issues, countries adopted a new strategy for creating more resilient public health systems for responding to infectious and chronic diseases, such as diabetes. The WHO said early diagnosis and care could save the lives of many of the millions who die from the diseases.
However, more than 400 people participated from 47 countries, including about 30 health ministers, who attended the top annual health gathering in person, while others joined online.
The plan also commits countries to reach critical targets by 2030 to strengthen their ability to prepare, detect, and respond to health emergencies.
“As we have seen with COVID-19, the impact of sickle cell disease extends well beyond health, posing significant economic and social costs for patients and their families. We cannot afford to continue ignoring the threat, so greater investments, and stronger collaboration and partnerships, need to be prioritized,”