25.08.2020 Africa

70th Session Of WHO Regional Committee For Africa: African Health Ministers To Meet Virtually On Critical Health Issues

70th Session Of WHO Regional Committee For Africa: African Health Ministers To Meet Virtually On Critical Health Issues
LISTEN AUG 25, 2020

Brazzaville, 24 August 2020 – Health Ministers and representatives from African countries will meet virtually for the Seventieth session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa.

The Regional Committee is the WHO decision-making body in the region, convening once a year to discuss and endorse policies, activities, and financial plans to improve people’s health.

Due to COVID-19, this annual meeting is being held online for the first time with an abridged agenda. Among the key issues to be discussed are the COVID-19 pandemic and the certification of Africa as free of wild poliovirus.

WHAT: Virtual Seventieth session of WHO Regional Committee for Africa

WHEN: 25 August 2020 starting at 08:30 GMT


WHO: The more than 500 participants include WHO Director-General Tedros Gebreyesus; WHO Regional Director for Africa: Dr Matshidiso Moeti, Ministers of Health and officials from 47 Member States, as well as representatives from United Nations agencies, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, academia and other development partners.


25 August 11:30 -14:30 GMT: Special event on the COVID-19 response in the WHO African Region

A little more than six months since the first COVID-19 cases in Africa, the continent has recorded more than 1.1 million cases. Early action by countries helped to slow down the spread of the virus. Although the contintent has not experienced the exponential rise in cases seen in other parts of the world, the pandemic has highlighted weaknesses in health systems in the region, including infrastructure, inadequate staffing and access to medical supplies and equipment. This session will provide a comprehensive overview of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the African Region and discuss ways of building resilient health systems.


  • H.E Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister of Ethiopia
  1. H.E Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of Mauritius
  2. Dr Pierre Somse, Hon Minister of Health, Central African Republic
  • Ms Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo, Hon Minister of Health & Population, Republic of the Congo
  • Mr Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, Hon. Minister of Health, Senegal
  1. Dr Zweli Mkhize, Hon Minister of Health, South Africa
  2. Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa
  • Professor Helen Rees, Executive Director, Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute
  • Dr Ahmed Ogwell Ouma, Deputy Director, Africa CDC
  • Professor Faustina Oware-Gyekye, President, West African College of Nursing

Moderator: Ms Julie Gichuru.

25 August 15:00–17:00 GMT: Celebrating the certification of wild poliovirus eradication in the African Region.

The independent Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) for Polio Eradication will officially certify the WHO African Region as free of wild poliovirus. The WHO African Region recorded its last case of wild poliovirus in August 2016. Two decades earlier, African leaders committed to eradicating polio from the continent. Thanks to the relentless efforts by governments, donors, frontline health workers and communities up to 1.8 million children have been saved from the crippling life-long paralysis.

Speakers in speaking order:

  • Professor Rose Leke, Chairperson, Africa Regional Certification Commission
  • Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa
  • Dr Tedros Gebreyesus, WHO Director-General
  • H.E Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria
  • Mr Holger Knaack, President, Rotary International
  • Dr Tunji Funsho, Chairman, Nigeria National PolioPlus Committee
  • Ms Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, UNICEF
  • Hon Alex Azar, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Dr Robert Redfield, Director, United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Dr Christopher Elias, President of the Global Development Division, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Dr Seth Berkley, CEO, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance
  • Mr Aliko Dangote, Dangote Foundation
  • Mr Bill Gates, Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Senator Harold K Kipchumba, Polio Survivor

Chair: Hon Jacqueline Lydia Mikolo, Minister of Health, Republic of the Congo

This event with be streamed live on: &

For further information contact:

Collins Boakye-Agyemang Tel: +4724139420, +242 06 614 2401 Email: [email protected]

Oka Sakuya Tel: + 472 4139692, +242 06 508 1009, Email: [email protected]

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