The West African Health Organization and Speak Up Africa Join Forces to Accelerate Disease Elimination in Africa

Press Release • 20 June 2022

The West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) and Speak Up Africa signed a partnership agreement to foster work to accelerate the control and elimination of preventable Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and malaria, endemic in the ECOWAS region and strengthen regional advocacy for the local production of vaccines, diagnostic including research and development and market access.  

The agreement, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalizes the mutual interaction and strengthens the existing relationship between WAHO and Speak Up Africa at strategic and regional levels. Both actors will focus on supporting the operationalization of the West Africa resolution on NTDs at regional and national levels, joint advocacy initiatives with the aimof promoting NTD elimination such as the Speak Up Africa’s “No to NTD” movement, cross border interventions. The agreement also seeks to drive the prioritization of the One Health agenda, the promotion of joint South to South malaria and NTD initiatives within the ECOWAS region as well as support regional advocacy for the operationalization of the African Medicines Agency (AMA), the Accra  UHC Declaration, and finally collaborate on high level advocacy initiatives on local production of drugs, vaccines, and other essential medicines. 

WAHO and Speak Up Africa have a shared objective of achieving the regional public health agenda which including cross cutting issues such as gender, social inclusion and increased accountability. This MoU provides for continued strengthening of future cooperation between WAHO and Speak Up Africa in achieving common goals that will support the elimination of NTDs and Malaria as well as promote universal access to medicines in West African countries. 

« This agreement will help WAHO move closer to our public health goals, especially those pertaining to NTDs, Malaria and the regional pharmaceutical sector. We look forward to pursuing our collaboration with Speak Up Africa to improve and protect policies, which enhance the health of our people. »

Stanley Okolo, Director General of WAHO

« I welcome this important initiative which formalizes and strengthens the existing relationship between WAHO and Speak Up Africa. We are committed to ensure strong advocacy at regional level to support major health achievement in the West Africa Region. I look forward to continuing to build on our constructive co-operation in the interest of enhancing resilient and strong health system that are the basis of disease elimination. »

Yacine Djibo, Executive Director of Speak Up Africa

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