The West African Health Organization (WAHO) is the regional Agency charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the health of the peoples in the sub-region through the initiation and harmonization of the policies of Member States, pooling of resources, and cooperation with one another and with others for a collective and strategic combat against the health problems of the sub-region.
Established in 1987 when the Heads of State and Government from all fifteen countries in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted the Protocol creating the organization and each government subsequently ratified it, WAHO has transcended linguistic borders and hurdles in the sub-region to serve all fifteen ECOWAS Member States.
The Protocol, grants WAHO status as a Specialized Agency of ECOWAS and describes the organization’s mission as ‘the attainment of the highest possible standard and protection.’
Visions and strategies
WAHO is a proactive instrument of regional health integration that enables high-impact and cost-effective interventions and programs by:
• Maintaining sustainable partnerships
• Strengthening capacity building
• Collecting, interpreting and disseminating information
• Promoting cooperation and ensuring coordination and advocacy
• Exploiting information communication technologies
WAHO has through its strategic programs, undertaken measures to combat Malaria, malnutrition, HIV/AIDS, maternal and infant mortality; prevention of blindness actions for easy access to medicines and vaccines, epidemiological surveillance as well as training and health information management in the sub-region.
Also, via its second strategic plan, WAHO is implementing strategic orientations such as; support for quality improvement of the health systems of the sub-region, support for health services improvement in the sub-region, support for development of sustainable financing of health and Institutional development of WAHO. This is implemented through various programs.