WHO holds meeting on Ebola resilience and recovery plans in Accra

Ebola2Experts from Ebola –affected countries are meeting in Accra to galvanise global and national support for the effective implementation of health recovery and resilience.

Efforts are therefore being made to mobilise partners including GAVI and the Global Fund, who are actively engaged in supporting the health programme of the three countries, particularly around health system strengthening (HSS) and also to provide flexibility to countries for reprogramming their existing grant.

The World Health Organisation is spearheading a technical meeting to support Ebola-affected countries on recovery and resilience plans to provide the platform for affected countries to present their recovery and resilience plans to partners.

The objective of the meeting among other things are to analyse and agree on how national recovery, plans and programmes can form the basis for funding and minimising the scope and volume of the application- specific processes and procedures, including a framework for accountability and reporting.

Dr Magada Rabalo, WHO Ghana country Representative said the availability of national health systems recovery and resilience plans serves as a unique opportunity for harmonising of partner efforts and alignment with national plans in order to: maximise synergies, improve efficiencies, and enhance resilience sustainability.

Against this background, she called for a clear need to facilitate coordination and alignment with the priorities in the recovery and resilience plans of the three countries, adding that, it creates opportunity to explore the best modalities for support from all partners, including GAVI and Global Fund.

The Deputy Health Minister, noted that, health systems should be strengthened to mitigate threats posed by catastrophic epidemics such as Ebola and said, the meeting was therefore to build on lessons learnt and chart the way forward in rebuilding health system that can provide basic health care for all.

Prior to the Ebola outbreak, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone had different forms of decentralized service delivery systems.

Guinea had a highly decentralized health-care network with significant rural-urban disparities.

Liberia’s organization of health services was under reform, transitioning towards a decentralized delivery system while Sierra Leone had 19 local councils that are responsible for managing the delivery of primary and secondary health-care services. Like Liberia, service delivery was pluralistic with a mix of public and private providers.

However these were eroded in the outbreak of the Ebola disease.

Mr Sanford Wesseh, Assistant Minister for Policy Planning at the Ministry of Health said the country’s resilience plan started in November 2014 with situational analyses which lead to the plan.

He said there was the need to re-engineer the health infrastructure, strengthen epidemic preparedness and response as well as enhancement of quality services and delivery systems.

Ms Sarian Kamara, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Sierra Leone said the country was aiming at zero and staying there.

She said the journey has been consultative and inclusive and noted that, the challenge for the country was human resource and infection and prevention control as well as community ownership.

Guinea’s director of Policy of the Ministry of Heath, Mr Boubacar Sall also noted that the process of developing a resilience plan had been consultative and inclusive with focus on the elimination of the virus, improvement of the district health sectors and commitment of communities among others.

The plan, he said will cover disease and emergency management and control promoting health across the life course, and overall strengthening of the national health system.

It is expected that the meeting would identify priorities in the national health systems recovery and resilience plan for GAVI and the Global Fund.

It would also identify synergies between partners and identified activities for proposal and concept notes development

Source: GNA

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