Community engagement and participation is essential in the prevention and reduction of Alcohol Harm in Africa
Mr. Habib Taigore Kamara, a board member of West African Alcohol Policy Alliance, during the ‘One Billion More People Enjoying Better Health and Well-Being’ session, affirmed that WAAPA support the adoption of the ‘Regional Strategy for Community Engagement, 2023-2030 at the WHO Regional Committee for Africa.
In his statement, he mentioned that communities are the end beneficiaries of almost all health interventions. He commended the Regional Committee for Africa on the development and adoption of this strategy. He added that Community mobilization and engagement is a cross-cutting theme in WAAPA’s alcohol prevention and control initiatives in West Africa.
He noted that, “People can undertake health promotion, preventive measures and action to support care in their own homes and communities, by sharing responsibilities with the health system” Community participation and contribution in several health measures including alcohol disorders are well documented. Hence the call for institutionalization of community involvement in health system will strengthen ownership and facilitate the mobilization of resource for health systems.
Mr. Kamara highlighted on section 43 of the strategy, on resource implications and called on governments to consider community engagement as an integral part of the health delivery system and to allocate the necessary budgetary support. This will lead to sustainability in health interventions.
He concluded that communities and civil society organizations should be involved in the development of country progress report to WHO AFRO Secretariat every two years.