A review of the Work of World Health Organization in the African Region

The report entitled  “The Work of WHO in the African Region”  presents the work of the World Health Organization (WHO)  in the African Region  during 2010 and 2011.  The report, highlights the main achievements made and describes the challenges faced to improve the health of Africans.


During these years African countries faced a heavy burden of both communicable (infectious) and non-communicable diseases, with attendant high numbers of maternal and infant deaths. The reduction of funding to WHO and other health projects due to the current financial crisis was a great challenge to respond to the needs of countries. Despite these constraints, significant progress was made in the implementation of supporting African countries to improve health. 


Some of the improvements achieved by the WHO during this period was the alliance between the health and finance ministries to ensure that adequate resources are allocated to improve people´s health. Some of the visible results were the increase number of pregnant women living with HIV who received antiretroviral medicine for preventing transmission of the virus to their babies: from 54% in 2009 to 60% in 2010. Additionally, an estimated 5.1 million people with advanced HIV infection were receiving anti-retroviral therapy in 2010 as compared with 3.9 million in 2009. The burden of malaria in the Region fell in 2010, with 12 countries recording more than 50% reduction in either confirmed malaria cases or malaria admissions and deaths.


The report o draws attention to the weakness of health systems, including insufficient human resources that have the required range of competencies; inadequate procurement and supply management systems; inadequate data collection and information systems; and ineffective accountability mechanisms. The effective engagement of communities in promoting their own health and influencing the quality of services delivered is also a challenge. Insecurity in parts of some countries has also affected the optimal delivery of technical support.


Source - WHO


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