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Second Phase of Africa Women Health Champions Initiative Launched by WHO, UNV

A resident from the Alexandra township gets tested for COVID-19 in Johannesburg, South Africa, April 29, 2020InternationalIndiaAfricaSince 1973, the WHO has been cooperating with the UNV Program to provide basic social and medical services, develop healthcare systems, and keep people safe through awareness and prevention. The Africa Women Health Champions’ second phase is a continuation of their cooperation in striving to achieve these goals.The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Program have embarked on the second phase of the Africa Women Health Champions (AWHC) initiative aimed at advancing the region’s health agenda and objectives.The project helps countries to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 which consists in ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for everybody at all ages. Within SDG 3, it is planned to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and the like, increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, etc.Within the framework of the initiative, the volunteers help the continent to expand opportunities for Africa public health professionals along with contributing to WHO gender parity.”Based on the success of the first phase, it is with pleasure that I announce the launch of the second phase starting today. With the partnership of the UNV program, and the support of all the country offices, we aim to recruit more young women who are determined to contribute to the continent’s development in the health sector as UN Volunteers,” said Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.In line with the AWHC initiative, women champions are appointed as national and international UN Volunteers in WHO country offices and at WHO Africa Regional Office.”There is still much to do to achieve better health for everyone on the continent. Today, WHO and UNV are starting the second phase of the initiative. With more scale and new ambition. With focus on diversity. With outreach to underrepresented countries,” said Toily Kurbanov, the Executive Coordinator of the UN Volunteers Programme.AfricaAfrican Officials, Experts Say Continent Needs Investment to Build Its Own Healthcare Solutions7 March, 09:57 GMTThe second phase of the initiative will last 24 months and focus mainly on expanding health career development opportunities, promoting diversity, and getting underrepresented countries involved.The first phase of the initiative involved 120 women depolyed in 38 countries, who helped make efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ebola epidemic, cholera outbreak, and other diseases in the region. The women were chosen from more than 25 professional fields, and their professional areas within the initiative included public health, emergency health surveillance, food security, biomedical engineering, and laboratory technology.

"The Health Champions have contributed to building the next generation of women health leaders, COVID-19 response and other health emergencies in the region, and strengthening the national health system and the engagement of communities," said Mahen Sandrasagren, Director, General Management and Coordination, WHO Africa Regional Office.

The second phase of the AWHC initiative was launched on March 8, on International Women’s Day.


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