Fourth meeting of WHO Collaborating Centers in the Eastern Mediterranean Region Commences
Fourth meeting of WHO Collaborating Centers in the Eastern Mediterranean Region Commences9/1/2019
the Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Health (MOH) hosted today (Wednesday) the fourth meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centers (CCs) in the Eastern Mediterranean Region at the Intercontinental hotel.
H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health presided over the meeting with the presence of H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.
The meeting, organized by the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, was attended by directors of WHO collaborating centers working in the Region and by responsible officers from the Regional Office and WHO.
His Excellency Minister of Health at his welcome speech stressed the role that such Collaborating Centers play in improving the health conditions of the regions’ countries. Meanwhile, the Health Minister expressed his pleasure of designating Oman as a WHO collaborating center in Quality and Patient Safety emphasizing that the Sultanate is aspiring as well to obtain designation in primary health care, nursing, and communicable diseases.
The meeting was inaugurated by WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Mandhari, who noted that it is the first time such a meeting has been held outside the premises of WHO’s Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean since it relocated to Cairo in 2000.
He pointed out that the WHO collaborating centers are institutions designated by WHO’s Director-General to form part of an international collaborative network carrying out activities in support of the Organization’s programme of work at all levels, as well as developing and strengthening institutional capacity in countries and regions. They represent a highly valued mechanism of cooperation by virtue of which selected institutions are recognized by WHO, in order to support it in implementing its mandated work.
H.E. Dr. Al Mandhari’s message highlighted the objectives of the meeting by pointing out that in 2015 and 2016, the WHO Regional Office conducted performance assessment surveys of collaborating centers in the Region, soliciting feedback from directors of the centers as well as WHO’s own responsible officers. The assessments revealed key challenges and gaps and identified recommended actions for both sides. Hence, this fourth meeting of all the WHO collaborating centers in the Region was planned as part of the follow-up, to discuss gaps and challenges with the aim of improving collaboration among centers and with WHO, and enhancing their contribution to our programme of work. The WHO-EMRO Regional Director added that the meeting would address specific procedures and issues that need to be considered at different stages in a center’s operations, from designation as a collaborating center to implementing its agreed work plan and annual reporting.
The two-day meeting aims to review the updated policies regulating designation or re-designation of collaborating centers and streamlining their collaboration with WHO’s programmer of work in addition to discuss the outcomes of the performance assessment surveys of WHO collaborating centres and agree on actions to address identified gaps. Additionally, it intends to consider the challenges faced by collaborating centers in implementing planned activities in collaboration with WHO, introduce and explain the Eastern Mediterranean Region’s Vision 2023 as well to orient the centers with regard to WHO strategic priorities in the Region.
The agenda of the meeting included presentation on situation analysis of the WHO Collaborating Centers (CC) in EMR followed by discussions on WHO CC global perspectives, policies and procedures, in addition to good practices and challenges. Discussions covered further ways of developing future agenda for WHO-CC through proposing actions for supporting WHO’s programme of work in line with the SDGs and EMR Vision 2023, as well as by observing new areas of collaboration.
A WHO collaborating center is an institution, such as a research institute, university or academy, designated by the WHO Director-General, to form part of an international collaborative network to conduct a range of activities in support of WHO’s work at all levels. WHO collaborating centers represent a valuable resource and provide strategic support to the Organization in the implementation of its mandated work and in developing and strengthening institutional capacity in countries and regions. There are 45 WHO collaborating centers in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, covering more than 30 areas of work.
It is worth noted that the WHO collaborating centers are institutions designated by the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) to form part of an international collaborative network carrying out activities in support of the Organization’s programme of work at all levels. They represent a highly valued mechanism of cooperation in which selected institutions are recognized by WHO in order to support it in implementing its mandated work.
Designating a qualified institution as a collaborating center recognizes a history of collaboration with WHO and provides a formal framework for future joint activities. The work of WHO’s collaborating centers in the Eastern Mediterranean Region should be directed towards the regional priorities identified in the new vision for the Eastern Mediterranean Region, Vision 2023 – Health for All, by All. These four priorities include expanding universal health coverage, addressing health emergencies, promoting healthier populations and making transformative changes in WHO. The Health for All, by All slogan of this regional Vision is a call for partnership and effective engagement with individuals, experts, organizations and academia to protect people’s health and build strategic alliances. WHO Collaborative Centers are critical partners in enhancing public health impact in the countries of our Region.