Bobo-Dioulasso, July 10, 2018 | The West African Health Organization (WAHO) commemorated its 31st anniversary of its creation on July 9, 2018.
There were three types of activities: 1) Regional activities; 2) Country activities and 3) Headquarters activities.
On Saturday, July 7, 2018, staff of WAHO, members of WAHO sports club and some members of the Bobo-Dioulasso community had some fitness exercise and cross-country around the town. This Saturday sporting exercise seemed to be a warm-up to the real celebration. On Sunday 8 July 2018 and Monday 9 July 2018, all the 15 ECOWAS Member States published in their daily newspapers the official message from the WAHO Director General. Some countries like Guiné-Bissau and Niger had their Minister of Health or the Permanent Secretary read the official WAHO message on the national television.
In Bobo-Dioulasso, the Director of the Department of Epidemics and Disease Control, representing the Director General, led a delegation of WAHO to make some donations to two health centers.
The climax of the celebration took place in Kara, the second largest city of the Togolese Republic. The celebration there was led by the Director General, Professor Stanley Okolo and the Chair of ECOWAS Assembly of Health Ministers, Togolese Minister of Health, Professor Mustafa Mijiyawa. The official ceremony was held on the premises of the Kara Teaching Hospital. In attendance were Department Heads from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Togo, the Director General of the Kara Teaching Hospital and his staff, the Kara Regional Health Director, and regional and local political authorities. Others were chiefs and traditional rulers, women’s group, Students from the Health Training College, and some local health NGOs, among others.
In his speech the Director General of WAHO expressed his gratitude to the President of the Togolese Republic, to his government, to the people and Togo and in particular the people of Kara for accepting to host the maiden Regional Celebration of the WAHO Day.
He congratulated Togo for the bold initiative of contracting the hospital management to external entity. Indeed, for a year now, Togo has been experimenting the Public-Private Partnership in Hospital Management. Kara Teaching Hospital is of the pilot sites.
Professor pledged WAHO’s commitment and continued support to innovative initiatives in the region. He made a donation of 5 million CFA Francs. This amount will be used to purchase equipment and materials for the radiology department of the Kara Teaching Hospital.
In his acceptance speech, the Togolese Minister of Health appreciated the DG’s gesture. He expressed his sincere thanks to WAHO for all the support Togo has been enjoying and prayed for more supports. He used the opportunity to congratulate Professor Okolo for his new appointment as the DG of WAHO and he pledged Togo’s support to the new vision and the new path being charted by WAHO under his leadership.
The DG and the Minister later toured the hospital facility and also interacted with the staff.
WAHO is the Specialized Institution of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) responsible for health issues. This year (2018), WAHO celebrated 31 years of the signing of its creation protocol (A/P2/7/87 of 9 July 1987 signed in Abuja by the Heads of State and Government). The main objective of the annual celebration is to commemorate the day of creation and to thank the founding fathers for the foresight. It is also to promote WAHO and its interventions in the region and make visible the work of WAHO and its impact on the health of the people in the sub-region.
The celebration also affords WAHO management the opportunity to share with the member countries and the general public the achievements of the institution and what is being done to ensure the attainment of the highest possible standard and protection of health of the peoples in the sub-region. Finally, the day is also used for the Headquarters staff to interact with the host community in Bobo-Dioulasso.