THE World Health Organization, WHO, yesterday, inaugurated the first African Institute for Health Policy and Health Systems at the Ebonyi State University, EBSU, Abakaliki.
Inaugurating the institute, the Executive Director, Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO, Geneva Switzerland, Dr. Abdul Ghaffar who stressed that the establishment of the African Institute at EBSU was based on merit and nothing else, called on the management of the university to be proud of its accomplishment of having the capacity to inaugurate the first and only African Institute for Health Policy and Health Systems in the state. He gave the assurance that he would use his good office to expose the capacity of EBSU and the African Institute to the world as policy makers in the Health sector would be connected to the institute for training and capacity building. In his address, the Vice Chancellor of EBSU, Professor Francis Idike noted that the establishment of the institute was a practical demonstration of the university’s governing council, management and senate resolve to position the university as an international citadel of excellence in research and learning “Over 120 stakeholders in the health sector including researchers, policy makers, non-governmental organization officials and health practitioners have been trained in the three-month executive certificate course from 2012 till date. Also, a total of 38 MSc and 4 PGD students have been admitted and are currently undergoing their training in health policy/health systems at the institute. “We look forward to more technical and funding support from the Alliance to enable the institute consolidate on the gains so far achieved. This is because, the institute is still at its infancy stage and will require such support. We will continue to partner with WHO and in particular, the alliance to make the institute truly an international centre of excellence in training and research in health policy and health systems.” Also, the Director, African Institute for Health Policy and Health Systems, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Professor Chigozie Jesse Uneke stated that 7 sets of health stakeholders mainly policy makers, researchers and NGO executives and others have been trained at the Institute.