The participants in a group photograph

The participants in a group photograph

DR. LUIS Sambo, World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Regional Director has called on public health schools across the region to collaborate with policy makers in order to contribute meaningfully to the implementation of health policies.

He said such collaboration will not only make health policies functional but also advance policies as correctional input to amend health policies that have moved in the wrong direction.

?The functional health system is the prerequisite to achieve and attain a health development goal such as those found in the MDGs like child and maternal mortality, control of HIV and AIDS and malaria.?

Dr. Sambo made this declaration in a speech read on his behalf at the Fourth Global Health Summit of the Association of Schools of Public Health in Africa (ASPHA) held in Accra.

The summit, which was preceded by the third Annual General Meeting of the association brought together representatives of over 20 public health schools in Africa to strategize on how to deepen collaboration among public health professionals towards improving health, reducing disease and alleviating poverty in Africa.

The summit was on the theme: ?Policy and Health System Research ? The Contribution of Schools of Public Health.?

Dr. Sambo noted that although public health schools in the sub-region had done a lot in public health research they had not invested much in assisting government in policy implementation.

He therefore encouraged the association to consider working with the national authorities to evaluate the working programme of public health policies and make them public for the benefit of other stakeholders in the countries.

?It will be desirable that they consider amending the capacity to health policy and research in academic institutions to establish a repository of knowledge,? he said.

He later assured the association of the support of WHO as the association creates a strong relationship and network to ensure advancement in the public health sector.

Professor Fred Binka, President of ASPHA, Ghana said the summit was aimed at providing participants with the platform to raise issues that affect them most, ?so that at the end of the day we will be sending a message to the global community to promote public health services and where capacity of global health should be going.?

He said through the summit schools of public health around the world will have the responsibility to promote research, education and support evidence based policies that affect the lives of many people around the world including building capacity to ensure that public health are functional and effective.

Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana in charge of research, innovation and development, Prof. John Gyapong in an address urged participants to continue to promote global health actions by forging links, sharing experiences and continuing to seek opportunities on global health initiatives.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Daniel Dicke

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