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The objective of the West African Health Organisation shall be the attainment of the highest possible standard and protection of health of the peoples in the sub-region through the harmonisation of the policies of the Member States, pooling of resources, and cooperation with one another and with others for a collective and strategic combat against the health problems of the sub-region.


WAHO’s Vision is to be recognized by the Member States and the International Community as a proactive instrument of regional health integration that enables high-impact and cost-effective interventions and programmes.

Comparative Advantages

  • Capacity to propose to Member States for adoption conventions, agreements and regulations expected to regulate some precise aspects of health in the region;
  • Ability to advocate at the highest level for the adoption and implementation by Member States of resolutions relating to health approved at the international level;
  • Capacity to facilitate the ratification of agreements and other conventions relating to health among Member States and Strategic Partners;
  • Ability to facilitate exchange of resources between countries, and to harmonise health policies,
  • Ability to collect, manage and disseminate health information specific to West Africa to guide future health interventions;
  • Ability to promote health interventions that specifically address the needs of West African countries;

Sources of data

A data collection tool was developed and sent to the countries to collect data on the parameters of the health financing system, including sources of health financing and their level of importance, pooling mechanisms, level of dialogue among stakeholders on health financing, health outcomes, and strengths and weaknesses in the health system building blocks.Where gaps existed in health financing national health accounts data annually collected by WHO and verified by the countries before finalization were used.

  • the provision of scholarships for research development training for health researchers in the countries
  • the provision of scholarships for research development training for health researchers in the countries
  • supporting the Medical Research Council of the Gambia conduct distance-training programs, and
  • supporting some countries’ (Togo, Burkina Faso) requests for scholarships to meet their specific research priority needs

WAHO Providing Financial and Material Support to ECOWAS Member States to fight Covid-19

The West African Health Organization, WAHO has distributed over 30,000 diagnostic test kits to the 15 ECOWAS Member States and these were the first testing kits received by most of our countries, and we are also currently distributing 50,000 specimen transportation kits, 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPE), and some medications to Member States.

As the Institution designated by the highest authorities of ECOWAS to lead the coordination, collaboration and communication in the region with regards to Covid-19 pandemic, WAHO has been very active in bringing together Member States to adopt a regional approach to the pandemic and to support them as necessary.

COVID-19 has become one of the most widespread public health emergencies in history. USAID’s support to control the spread of COVID-19 in West Africa takes place at both the regional and national level. Through WAHO, USAID is helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by supporting the regional coordination of training, risk communication, rapid response, and cross-border collaboration. RHO is also providing assistance to multiple national COVID-19 responses in the areas of infection prevention control, water, sanitation and hygiene, risk communication and community engagement, monitoring and evaluation, and vaccine deployment.


Health is an essential foundation for long-term development of economies and societies. With a rapidly growing population of 401.1 million, a healthy, productive workforce requires sound investments in human capital. The USAID/West Africa Regional Mission has identified health as one of its top priorities, and through its Regional Health Office (RHO), the Mission is focused on partnering with West Africans in strengthening health services and systems throughout West Africa. Presently, RHO implements family planning service delivery programs in four focus countries; Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger and Togo. Additionally, RHO supports the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programming in Burkina Faso and Togo, and will expand to Benin in October 2021. Through programming and collaboration with the West Africa Health Organization(link is external) (WAHO), the institution entrusted by the Heads of State and Government to ensure the coordination of regional health interventions within the ECOWAS region, and with other donors and partners, the RHO reaches other West African countries through an advocacy and policy role. USAID’s support to WAHO benefits all 15 ECOWAS member states.

Together with WAHO, RHO is strengthening national health systems by using relatively small, catalytic investments. An intensive focus on systems and institutional capacity-building, along with the continued prioritization of High Impact Practices (HIPs) and related policies, better equip countries to reduce morbidity and mortality, combat infectious diseases, and advance equity in healthcare. In addition, USAID also partners with WAHO to strengthen its capacity and enable the organization to fully execute its mandate through the Leadership Capacity Strengthening Project (CAPS). In ECOWAS member states, WAHO is also promoting public-private partnerships with health care providers and institutions to create platforms for strategic dialogue. By engaging the private sector in health care provisions, investments in health care are increasing, as well as the availability and quality of health services.

RHO also builds the capacity of host country governments and National Statistics Offices to collect, monitor and evaluate data on their family planning, fertility, maternal and child health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and malaria for policy and decision making through the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) activity. Cameroon, The Gambia, Mauritania and Togo are some of the recent beneficiaries.

HIV/AIDS Prevention, Care and Treatment

As part of PEPFAR’s West Africa regional platform, which includes Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo, the Regional Health Office in the USAID/West Africa Regional Mission supports HIV programming mainly with governments and civil society organizations in Burkina Faso, Togo, and Benin. RHO's goal with PEPFAR funding is to accelerate progress in these three countries toward achieving the UNAIDS 95-95-95 goals by 2025 (95% of people living with HIV know their HIV status, 95% of those who know their status are on lifesaving antiretroviral therapy and 95% of those who are on antiretroviral therapy are virally suppressed) and eliminate HIV/AIDS by 2030.

In collaboration with government Health Ministries, civil sociely organizations and the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, RHO is helping to reduce service inequalities among female sex workers, men who have sex with men, children, adolescents, youth, adult women, and adult men. #EAWA relies on the rapid scale-up of effective and innovative practices, and supports index testing, enhanced peer outreach, self-testing, pre-exposure prophylaxis, transition to the fixed-dose combination tenofovir/lamivudine/dolutegravir (TLD), and differentiated service delivery with multi-month antiretroviral dispensing.

In 2020, with RHO’s support, despite the COVID 19 pandemic, PEPFAR-supported health facilities in Togo and Burkina Faso doubled their HIV case finding performance compared to 2019 and maintained a high rate of continuity of treatment among the 58,789 people living with HIV who were on life-saving antiretroviral therapy.


The Regional Health Office works toward strengthening food security and achieving improved nutrition practices and outcomes for mothers and children in select cities and towns in Niger, such as Zinder. Through an integrated package of services that is provided in a single consultation, more families are receiving family planning, maternal child health and nutrition services, from antenatal care to labor and delivery, to the postpartum period.

Together with the Regional Economic Growth Office and WAHO, RHO supports activities that also aim to increase access to safe and nutritious foods through strengthened food safety systems, like improved nutrition monitoring and surveillance systems, coordinate with and scale-up regional food fortification and biofortification policies and technologies.

In FY2021, the parents/caretakers of approximately 11,056 children in Niger received social and behavior change consultations that promoted infant and young child feeding practices. USAID and WAHO also jointly established a Regional Food Fortification Alliance and Regional Health Observatory that monitors progress on nutrition in the region.

Global Health Security

  • One Health

USAID engages in global health security through a One Health framework, a multi-sectoral approach that recognizes the interconnection between people, animals (wild and livestock), plants, and our shared environment. An integrated One Health approach to public, animal, and environmental health is vital to preventing, detecting, and responding to pandemics.

RHO collaborates with WAHO through the Regional Centre for Surveillance and Disease Control in Nigeria and the Regional Animal Health Center in Mali, to advance the global health security agenda and One Health.

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