The World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) on Sunday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to intensify collaboration on sustainable management of health programs and projects in Africa.


The agreement between the two institutions came on the sideline of the annual Conference of African Ministers of Planning, Economy and Finance jointly organized by the African Union (AU) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The conference is being hosted on 25-31 March here in Ethiopia’ s capital Addis Ababa.
The agreement is the first of its kind between WHO and UNOPS in the African region, according to the joint statement of the institutions.
The MOU commits the two institutions to share information, collaborate and foster synergies to strengthen regional capacities in the areas of sustainable health infrastructure, procurement, with a special focus on medical equipment, management of health programs and projects.
“The formalization of our collaboration with UNOPS is timely and welcomed by WHO as it will improve the efficiency of our operations at country level,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “This agreement is part of WHO’s regional transformation agenda in Africa for responsive strategic operations.”
In Ethiopia, WHO and UNOPS have been collaborating since July 2013 to support the polio outbreak response activities and other operations in the country, said the statement.
UNOPS, as the operational arm of UN, has played a key role in improving WHO’s operational efficiency, thus enabling the organization to fully focus on providing technical assistance to Ethiopia to address the health challenges faced by the country particularly in time of health emergencies, noted the statement.
“The signing of this MOU, the first in Africa, is a further step forward in the sustainable development of healthcare delivery across the continent, and emphasizes UNOPS service to partners through operational excellence,” said Garry Conille, UNOPS Regional Director for Africa.
The MOU comes at a time when the deadline for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is approaching and countries around the world are together defining the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals with strong emphasis on universal health coverage.
The WHO and UNOPS partnership in Africa will help to increase equitable access to health care by expanding health networks and infrastructure, and improve access to treatment, medicines and technology through efficient procurement and supply chain management, as well as support capacity development of national governments, said the statement. Enditem

Source: Xinhua


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