Platform to promote evidence-informed health policy in the African region launched

The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (AFRO), in collaboration with London School of Economics (LSE) has launched The African Health Observatory Platform on Health Systems & Policies (AHOP) a new partnership which aims to improve generation of evidence-informed decision-making on health systems and knowledge transfer in the African region. 

The partnership leverages existing national and regional collaborations to form a network of National Centres across the region. The work will be coordinated through leading research institutions in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal. These national centres will collect, analyse and integrate relevant evidence on health policy to support decision makers.

Through frequent consultation with policy makers, AHOP will be able to provide support and evidence which is timely, reliable and tailored. This evolving global model of knowledge brokering creates opportunities to compare and contrast health systems characteristics between countries and regions worldwide.

“This is a significant step. So much data and research in Africa is produced, but not always shared,” said Dr Humphrey Karamagi, the Team Leader of Data, Analytics and Knowledge Management at WHO Regional Office for Africa. The experience-sharing occurring between countries on all types of health conditions could be used to deliver services that people are actually asking for.”

AHOP complements the larger WHO integrated African Health Observatory (iAHO), currently the most comprehensive, freely available online repository for data, analytics and knowledge on health for decision-makers, researchers, stakeholders and citizens in the region.

“By adding the knowledge component, we want to provide a one-stop shop that will bridge the gap between research and decision-makers to accelerate the progress towards access to affordable and quality health services,” Dr Karamagi added.

The initiative funded by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, joins the cohort of regional health systems observatories including the European Observatory on Health Systems & Policies and the Asia-Pacific Observatory (APO), which have shared lessons learned and approaches to inform its development.

Photo courtesy / Photo by Lukas Blazek on Unsplash

Article by Jedidah Mwangi