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Francophone NHA Technical Training Workshop in Dakar, Senegal

NHA panelRepresentatives from 12 countries in Francophone Africa attended the first regional National Health Accounts (NHA) technical training workshop in Dakar, Senegal from September 28-October 3, 2003. Countries represented included: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Chad, Congo, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo.

The conference was organized by the Partners for Health Reformplus project, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO)/Geneva, the WHO Africa Regional Office, WHO/Senegal, the World Bank, and the Swedish International Development Agency. Following on the Policymakers Launch Conference in January 2003, the objectives of this meeting were to: introduce West and Central African representatives from Ministries of Health, Ministries of Finance, National Bureaus of Statistics, and others (Ministry of Planning) to the basic concepts and overall methodology of NHA); engage participants in individual and group exercises to master the data estimation concepts and apply them in a case study exercise; raise awareness of the policy uses of NHA data and findings; and motivate country teams to develop workplans for carrying out NHA in their respective countries. This meeting also contributed to the development of a West and Central African Regional NHA network, through which countries can exchange information and support each other in the implementation and institutionalisation of NHA.

NHA participantsDue to the large number of countries in the Francophone network (approximately 25), conference organizers decided to split the network into two groups and begin by training 12-13 countries in NHA concepts and methodology. Over the course of the workshop, 27 representatives from 12 countries came together to learn more about NHA including how to build political support in a country, how to plan data collection activities, how to analyze and report health expenditure findings to policymakers and to participate in practical application exercises.

Following on this technical training, a second Francophone Africa regional NHA technical training workshop is scheduled for early 2004 (April – May) in a West African country (location to be determined). This meeting will include representatives from Algeria, Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Côte d'Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, São Tomé and Principe, and Seychelles, as well as countries trained in the first training, with some progress in NHA activities. In addition, the sponsors of the workshop will be planned in close collaboration with the sponsors of the September/October training as well as the USAID/West Africa Regional Health Program (WARHP) office and WARHP project based in Accra, Ghana, which will help support the regional NHA network development and other regional NHA activities.

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