African Health Ministers Convene for Region’s Flagship Public Health Meeting
Seventy-second session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa
The Regional Committee is the WHO decision-making body that convenes once a year
Health ministers and health representatives from 47 African countries will meet in Lomé, Togo either in person or virtually for the Seventy-second session the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa. The Regional Committee is the WHO decision-making body that convenes once a year to discuss and endorse regional policies, activities and financial plans to improve people’s health and well-being.
WHAT: Seventy-second session of WHO Regional Committee for Africa
WHEN: 22–26 August 2022
WHERE: In Lomé, Togo at the Lomé International Conference Centre or YouTube streaming in ENGLISH. Virtual press conference on Thursday 25 August will have a separate zoom link.
WHO: More than 400 participants, including WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Ministers of Health and senior health ministry officials from the 47 Member States, representatives of the African Union, United Nations agencies, civil society, bilateral and multilateral organizations and other development partners are expected to attend this annual flagship event.
HIGHLIGHTS – Times are for Lomé, Togo (GMT)
Sunday, 21 August 7:30-10:30 Walk the Talk
On the eve of the 72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, WHO and the Government of Togo hold the Walk the Talk event to encourage everyone to be physically active and make healthy lifestyle choices. Starting point: Lomé’s municipal stadium, behind Hotel Février.
Monday, 22 August 9:00-12:00 Opening Ceremony
The 72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee opens with remarks from H.E. Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé Eyadém, President of Togo, H.E. Minata Samate Cessouma, Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development for the African Union, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General and Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
Tuesday, 23 August 9:00–10:30 Regional strategy to address severe, chronic noncommunicable diseases at the intermediate level of national health systems
African health ministers will review and are expected to endorse a new strategy to boost access to the treatment of severe noncommunicable diseases at district hospitals.
Tuesday, 23 August 12:45–13:45 Side event: Marshalling a regional campaign against sickle cell disease
A panel of African health ministers from high-burden countries, medical professionals and leaders from international organizations aim to bring sickle cell disease out of the shadows and urge stronger national prioritization, especially with budgets.
Tuesday, 23 August 14:15–17:45 COVID-19 special event: Rethinking and rebuilding resilient health systems in Africa to achieve universal health coverage and health security
Insights on what has and has not worked for strengthening health systems to simultaneously maintain essential services while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be followed by what investments and actions are needed to ensure the full range of quality medical products and health technologies to achieve universal health coverage and respond to future public health emergencies in Africa.
Wednesday, 24 August 10:45–12:15 Regional Strategy on Health Emergencies
African health ministers are expected to endorse a new strategy that aims to reduce the health and socioeconomic impacts of health emergencies, incorporating lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wednesday, 24 August 12:30–14:00 Side event: Towards political leadership to end childhood tuberculosis by 2030
This event will highlight a call to action by the African Union and WHO, in collaboration with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Stop TB Partnership. The partners are urging African countries to ensure a holistic and comprehensive response that ends the suffering of childhood tuberculosis.
Wednesday, 24 August 2022, 16:00 - 18:00 Special polio event on “Responding with Speed and Quality - Addressing the ongoing threat of Polio in the African Region”.
This high-level event will feature updates on activities regarding the wild poliovirus type 1 cases (WPV1) reported in Malawi and Mozambique as well as on ongoing response to non-wild variant poliovirus in the African Region. After the outbreak update, presentations will focus on polio priorities, including surveillance and transition as well as on the need to strengthen routine immunization in the Region. Active discussions will follow on the ongoing threat of polio in Africa as well as a call to action that member states recommit to ending polio in Africa for once and for all.
Thursday, 25 August 9:00–10:30 Regional strategy for management of environmental determinants of human health in the African region 2022–2030
Health Ministers are expected to endorse an updated strategy that will revitalize action on environmental determinants of human health. It integrates recommendations from the WHO manifesto for a healthy recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thursday, 25 August 10:30–11:30 Virtual and on-site press conference
Virtual press conference on the key policy decisions discussed at the 72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa. Panellists include WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti and Minister of Health, Public Hygiene and Universal Access to Care for Togo, Moustafa Mijiyawa.
Thursday, 25 August 12:45–13:45 Side event: Pathways to Leadership for Health Transformation Programme for Member States
The event will highlight how the programme has improved health governance and its value and benefits for health systems strengthening and COVID-19 recovery efforts.
Thursday, 25 August 18:15–19:45 Ministerial conference dinner on the use of artificial intelligence for health
Artificial intelligence-driven health solutions in use in Africa will be featured before discussing what is needed to shape policy and enabling environments that can foster digital technologies for accelerated improvements in health.
Full details of the agenda are available at: www.afro.who.int/sites/default/files/sessions/agenda/AFR-RC72-1%20Add-1%20Draft%20Provsional%20Programme%20of%20Work.pdf
COVERING SESSIONS: Journalists may attend all sessions of the meeting except those specified as closed. Or they can log in to all sessions at: YouTube streaming in ENGLISH. Journalists are requested to wear their badges and sit in the designated area for the media. The meeting will be conducted in English, French and Portuguese, with simultaneous interpretation.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.