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Highlight: Improving health systems research in West Africa

April 15, 2016

The West African Health Organization (WAHO) held a three-day regional consultation with more than 50 stakeholders from 20 institutions. The goal was to inform their next five-year strategic plan to strengthen health research across the Economic Community of West African States. IDRC funded the consultation as part of its effort to build leadership for health policy in the region.

Pr Félix Boa Yapo, director general of health of Côte d’Ivoire, opened the consultation, along with Dr Stanislas Kambour, WAHO's director of research and health information systems and Canada's ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Madame Chantel de Varennes. 

Mme de Varennes acknowledged IDRC's support, noting that the Canadian government supports IDRC's work to strengthen health research, build research capacity, and address maternal mortality. 

The consultation was followed by a two-day dialogue organized by the University of Ghana School of Public Health, in partnership with WAHO and IDRC. Health systems research experts and partners from across the region met to develop a common vision and plan to strengthen in-country capacity, to move research evidence into policy and practice, and to strengthen partnerships.

WAHO is mandated by the West African heads of states and works closely with policymakers, research institutions, and other stakeholders. IDRC recognizes WAHO's vital role in catalyzing change in the region and has partnered with the organization to carry out several initiatives over the past four years. Most recently, WAHO was selected to participate in IDRC's Innovation for Maternal and Child Health program.

Learn more about IDRC's Innovation for Maternal and Child Health program