Regional Health Governance in the Ebola Outbreak: The Need for African Solutions to African Problems

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Oluwatobi NJOAGUANI, Covenant University, Nigeria
Sheriff FOLARIN, Covenant University, Nigeria
The need for context specific health policies and interventions in health systems in Africa cannot be overemphasized. Amongst many recommendations, the roles that regional organizations can play in health governance and policy implementation are important to this paper. Regional formations are already playing a significant role in shaping the formation of new socio-political intra-regional agendas. They also have the potential to engage as global actors through extra-regional diplomacy and bloc activism in support of those agendas. They can also act as bridge organizations between global initiatives for health cooperation and national health policy implementation. Regional organizations have great utility, owing to their familiarity with the region’s specific political and cultural context. In terms of representation, they can provide leadership in translating global goals into regional context-specific priorities, a forum for the exchange of views and negotiation of legal instruments. The roles that regions can play are obviously enormous. The goal therefore is to understand how regional institutions in Africa, especially in West Africa, are taking advantage of their immerse potentials to affect global policies and governance for health. Also, in light of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the paper seeks to assess the roles played by the African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its health organization, the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) in response to the epidemic. The paper recommends that regional organizations in Africa can play central roles in health governance, by steering global governance for health priorities in Africa, thereby reducing the burden of diseases.