Eritrea Conducts Consensus Building Workshop on the National Action Plan for Health Security
On Friday, 4th March 2022, The Government of the State of Eritrea held a multisectoral consensus-building workshop to jointly review, provide feedback and validate the draft National Action Plan for health security (NAPHS). The workshop brought together multisectoral stakeholders from the National and Zoba levels. The sectors represented include The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and veterinary services, Ministry of Land, Water and Environment, Ministry of Marine Resources, Ministry of Local Government, Office of National Security, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Information, Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare, Orotta College of Health Sciences, WHO, FAO and UNICEF.
This marked a significant milestone in the NAPHS development timelines that were agreed upon by the core team and stakeholders in November 2022. The plan is a result of several consultative workshops with multisectoral stakeholders. It builds on the gains made in the implementation of the previous NAPHS (2017-2021) and on the COVID-19 response. It also focuses on addressing the challenges experienced in implementation of the previous NAPHS.
Through implementation of the plan, Eritrea’s capacity to prevent, detect and respond to public health threats will be strengthened in line with the International Health Regulations (IHR) requirements. This will subsequently lead to a reduction in morbidity, mortality, disability, and socio-economic disruptions due to public health threats and contribute to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3). Specifically, the plan will contribute to SDG 3.d.1 indicator on strengthening International Health Regulations (IHR) capacity and health emergency preparedness.
During the workshop, the team further brainstormed on how to scale up best practices and address the challenges experienced in the implementation of the previous NAPHS. Some of the key recommendations included:
- Endorsement of the NAPHS by all the relevant sectors and commitment to the implementation.
- Revitalization of the multisectoral coordination structures at all levels.
- Printing, distribution, and dissemination of the NAPHS to all stakeholders at all levels including printing a summary in all local languages.
- Holding annual meetings to review implementation progress and status of IHR core capacities based on the state party annual reports to the World Health Assembly.
- Development of annual operational plans and incorporation of priority activities in annual work plans for the different health departments and sectors.
- Forging partnerships to enhance resource mobilization.
Successful implementation of the plan will require collective action and accountability from all sectors and stakeholders.
“I applaud Eritrea for the efforts made to strengthen the International Health Regulations (IHR) core capacities to prevent, prepare, detect, and respond to public health threats. The overall IHR core capacity index improved from 49.3% in 2017 to 57% in 2020, with improvements noted across the capacities”. This plan provides an opportunity for collaboration to further strengthen the IHR core capacities to prevent, prepare, promptly detect, and respond to public health threats hence mitigating the impact of these threats. Said Dr. Martins Ovberedjo, WHO Representative for Eritrea.
“The development of this plan was led by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders, including National Ministries, Development Partners, and the academia with technical assistance from WHO. The plan is aligned to the 2020 National Health policy and the 2022-2026 health sector strategic development plan (HSSDP III) that are anchored on National and International priorities including the global agenda of the SDGs. Furthermore, the Internal Health Regulations 2005 has been contextualized in this document”. Said Dr. Andeberhan Tesfatsion, Director General of Public Health Department, MOH Eritrea.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization – Eritrea.