Focus on heathcare in region

MUSCAT: The Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Health (MoH), hosted at the InterContinental Hotel on Wednesday the 4th meeting of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Collaborating Centres (CCs) in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, chaired the meeting in the presence of Dr Ahmed bin Salim al Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.
Dr Al Saeedi in his welcome speech stressed the role of Collaborating Centres in improving the health condition of the people in the countries of the region. He expressed his pleasure over designating Oman as a WHO Collaborating Centre in Quality and Patient Safety, emphasising that the Sultanate is aspiring to obtain designation in primary healthcare, nursing, and communicable diseases.
The meeting was inaugurated by Dr Ahmed al Mandhari, who said 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 Organisation’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 recognised by WHO, in order to support it in implementing its mandated work.
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 Centres in the region, soliciting feedback from directors of the centres, 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 Centres in the region was planned as part of the follow-up, to discuss gaps and challenges with the aim of improving collaboration among centres and with WHO, and enhancing their contribution to our programme of work.
The WHO-EMRO Regional Director added that the meeting addresses specific procedures and issues that need to be considered at different stages in a centre’s operations, from designation as a Collaborating Centre to implementing its agreed work plan and annual reporting.