Published 08/24/2023

In Dakar, ECOWAS parliamentarians adopt a declaration of commitment on the digitization of health systems and the governance of health data.

In Dakar, ENDA Santé organized a Regional Consultation with ECOWAS parliamentarians, members of the Trade, Customs and Free Movement and Education Commissions, on the digitization of healthcare systems and the governance of health data. The meeting was chaired by Dr Ibrahima Khaliloulah Dia, Coordinator of the Cellule de la Carte Sanitaire et Sociale, de la Santé Digitale et de l'Observatoire de la Santé (CSSDOS), representing the Minister of Health and Social Action (MSAS). The West African Health Organization (WAHO), the Commission de Protection des Données Personnelles (CDP) and member organizations of the Transform Health Senegal coalition also took part in this high-level consultation.

This was an opportunity for participants to share national experiences and approaches to the digitization of healthcare systems and the governance of health data. It was also an opportunity to raise awareness among ECOWAS parliamentarians, enabling them to take advocacy to the highest level.

The parliamentary members of the ECOWAS Health Commission are responsible for examining and making recommendations on health-related issues within the Community. As such, they showed their interest and welcomed this initiative, implemented by ENDA Santé, in partnership with Transform Healh.

They have materialized this interest by signing a declaration of commitment on the digitization and governance of healthcare data. They intend to :

- report on the work of the Regional Consultation in their respective countries and to the ECOWAS Parliament.

- raise awareness among their parliamentary colleagues of the importance of digitizing healthcare systems and health data governance

-Work to mobilize resources for programs in this area;

- to support our countries in drafting legislation on the digitization of healthcare systems and the governance of health data;

- propose to ECOWAS the adoption of a community act on the digitization of health systems and the governance of health data.

By signing the Dakar Declaration on the digitization of healthcare systems and the governance of health data, ECOWAS parliamentarians are making a commitment to take advocacy to the highest level, as well as expressing their leadership on healthcare issues in the region.

The signing was a highlight of the meeting. It also testifies to the strong desire of the ECOWAS Parliament to support EndaSante, Transform Health and the States in the process of digitizing health systems and governance of health data for the well-being of populations.

Welcoming the commitment of ECOWAS parliamentarians, ENDA Santé's Executive Director Nguissali Turpin reiterated ENDA Santé's determination to continue working with this regional institution to achieve together the objective of digitization and governance of health data.

For Alpha Boubacar Sy, representing WAHO, this is a significant step in the digitization process, and also strengthens regional cooperation. 

It is therefore important that parliamentarians support this process, so that we have common standards and protocols that can guarantee the reliability of data and its secure, privacy-friendly use, while enabling sharing, exchange and analysis between countries to achieve public health objectives.

Alpha Boubacar Sy SAVANE

For his part, Ibrahima Khaliloulah insisted on governance, which in his view is essential to the success of digitization, given the sensitive nature of data. This process must involve all the players, so that together we can have the legal means to make digitization a success.

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