The West African Health Organisation (WAHO) is a Specialized Institution of the ECOWAS responsible for health issues whose mission is to attain the highest possible standard and protection of health for the people of the 15 member states.
Within WAHO, the Regional program “Reproductive Health, Family Planning and HIV prevention in ECOWAS” is funded by the German Government through its development bank KFW and supported technically by Swiss TPH.
Swiss TPH has been acting as Regional Consultant for WAHO since 2010 (Phases I to IV which is in progress) through its contract with KfW.
The overall objective of the Regional Program is to contribute to the improvement of reproductive health in the ECOWAS countries. More specifically, its objectives are:
(i) Contribute to the availability of reproductive health (RH) products
(ii) Contribute to a positive change in the behaviors of target groups for the use of Reproductive Health services
A regional financing facility (RFF) has been set up which includes two funds, managed by a WAHO unit:
1. A fund for the procurement of quality RH commodities (condoms, implants, injections) or Products procurement funds (Fonds d’achats de produits – FAP) which aims at increasing the stocks of these products in the beneficiary countries.
2. A Fund to finance capacity building interventions, or Capacity Building fund (Fonds de renforcement des Capacités – FRC) which aims at strengthening national beneficiary actors – both public and private- in the field of planning, acquisition, distribution of RH commodities , IEC / BCC for family planning and HIV/AIDS prevention products. In addition, the program aims to strengthen the WAHO.
Since 2010, Swiss TPH, as a Regional Consultant, acts like a Monitoring agent of WAHO activities:
1. Periodical monitoring at WAHO and National level
2. Support WAHO in Regional activities
3. Support WAHO in the implementation and improvement of the Regional Finance Mechanism (RFM)
4. Support to the analysis of the quality of country requests and to the process of their validation
5. Support to procurement implementation: Monitoring and verification of compliance of reproductive health product procurement documents and procedures
6. Regularly monitor activities at WAHO and country level (supervisions)
7. Supporting WAHO regional activities: Participation in annual programme reviews, capacity building activities, etc.
In 2020, eleven (11) countries in the ECOWAS zone should benefit from the program's interventions (Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Sierra Leone, Togo) with the support of KfW but also the Netherlands, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The implementation of activities at the operational level is coordinated at the country level by the Ministry of Health as the principal Beneficiary, with the collaboration of pharmaceutical supply organizations and civil society organizations (social marketing associations and family planning associations).
In 2017 a financing agreement was signed between ECOWAS and the German government to extend the program's actions within WAHO, which enabled KfW to renew its confidence in WAHO by awarding and starting the preparation of a new phase (Phase V).