The three-day West Africa International Health Summit opened on Wednesday with a call on African nations to team up and raise the quality of health personnel to respond more adequately to the health needs of the people.
“Raising the quality of the human factor is very, very important,” Prof Aaron Michael Oquaye, the Speaker of Parliament, said adding “we should be able to respond at all levels of medical practice”.
Prof Oquaye called or a shift in paradigm for more effective collaboration, in such a way that at the ECOWAS and the African Union levels, medicine will become more of collaborative efforts to enable more operations to be carried out with a long distance approach rather than always with a doctor one-on-one.
According to the Speaker said it is necessary medical practitioners in West Africa and beyond consider ways and of improving herbal medicine for maximum benefits to be reaped from local and native medicine.
He said: “In terms of pharmaceutical development, in terms of herbal medicine development, it is an area that of course, we will very much need to look at. Plants are the essence of what we may call medicine or drug. At the same time as we have the plants it is important that they are properly developed, labelled, classified in a way whereby dosage can be determined with reasonable ease.
“As we meet on an occasion like this it will be most useful for us to consider ways and means of improving local herbal medicine, developing standards, developing ways and measures so that at the final analysis we should be able to benefit maximally from the practical aspects of local or native medicine.”
The three-day summit, the first to be held, is under the theme: “Collaborating through networking and technology for improved healthcare in Africa.”
In an interview with journalists after the opening ceremony, Dr Charles Dwanena, the Convener of the Summit, said it would provide a platform for health professionals, hospital leaders, and policy makers across to share practical experiences and current best practices in healthcare.
The summit would also create a platform for the leaders and decision makers to interface with manufacturers as well as suppliers of the latest healthcare technologies, products, equipment and services.
Furthermore hospital leaders, decision makers, manufacturers and other actors in the health sector would showcase new technologies at the summit.
“The West Africa International Health Summit is designed in a way that promotes intra-Africa healthcare collaboration through tele-medicine and other technologies for improved healthcare, promote exchange of ideas and expertise among healthcare professionals and also promote Ultrasound Medicine in Africa” Dr Dwanena said.
Furthermore, the gathering would give practical training sessions and workshops in the latest cutting-edge technologies by renowned experts from across the globe.
The summit is hosting 691 manufacturers and suppliers, and over 30 sessions in various disciplines ranging from health finance, health management and administration, Medicine, UN SDGs, Public Health, nursing, herbal medicine, diagnostics and ultrasound machines.