WHO African Regional Committee Meeting

From the 19th to the 23rd August 2019, IFMSA attended the 69th Session of the World Health Organization’s African Regional Committee Meeting in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The meeting brought together ministers of health from 47 nations of the African region along with numerous international, regional and local NGOs. The IFMSA delegation led by Parth Patel the Regional Director for Africa for IFMSA and 2 other members of the region.

A symbolic walk the talk and a glorious opening ceremony presided over by the President of the Republic of Congo His Excellency Denis Sassou Nguesso, which was followed by a week long discussion with a clarion call for health for all in Africa. The RC69 agenda also included the election of the Regional Director for Africa for the WHO. Ministers of Health present further deliberated on topic including malnutrition, vector borne disease control, malaria prevention strategies as well as integrated disease surveillance and response. Other pertinent issues discussed included the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its neighboring countries as well as introduction of the project for elimination of neglected tropical diseases.

IFMSA revived its connection with WHO AFRO recently and attended the African Regional Committee Meeting after several years. IFMSA was given the opportunity to present a statement on behalf of 24 African National Member Organizations of the African Region within the framework for provision of essential health services through strengthened district/local health systems to support Universal Health Coverage in the context of SDGs. ( statement)

The delegation also strongly recommended a continual dialogue outside the RC setting and encouraged member states to engage the youth in order to better understand and recognize the needs of the young people of today and make an everlasting positive impact in the health status for all. Dr Matshidisho Moeti the Regional Director for Africa for the WHO, accentuated her support for the work of IFMSA in Africa and encouraged medical students in the region to become more visible and active.

To know more about the work of IFMSA at the WHO African RC69 please stay tuned for our post event report to be published soon.

Parth Patel

IFMSA Regional Director for Africa

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