By Victoria Hanson, LAGOS
The West African Health Organisation, WAHO, is organising a workshop on improving Early Warning System (EWS) to secure contraceptive products in the region.
The three-day workshop which opened on Monday, 27 May, is holding in Lagos, Nigeria, in partnership with USAID.
It is being attended by no fewer than 40 participants representing governments from ECOWAS countries, Donors, International Institutions, Civil Societies, Experts and practitioners in the field of family planning logistics.
The workshop is also focussing on ensuring in-depth training and exchanges on the strategies that will move forward family planning commodities security.
According to Dr Cletus Adohinzin, the Program Officer at WAHO, the EWS platform is co-managed by USAID and WAHO, adding that the basic objective is to build capacity for those who are providing data for the platform.
“On the platform, what we do is we are trying to monitor stock from each ECOWAS country to see where we are out of stock in terms of family planning commodities and where we are having enough in stock so that we can transfer the product to the country where they are out of stock.
“We are trying to help countries in terms of their family planning commodity. We also have programme on capacity building where we train people on family planning.
“We have contraceptives technology. So, we are providing people with family planning technology that allow them to make informed choice,” Dr Adohinzin told reporters.
Also speaking at the opening, representative of USAID, Tamah Kamlem, said “The most important message from this workshop is the importance of coordination among countries.
“We ensure that commodities that are provided for countries meet certain global standard of safety.
“We also want to make sure there is a wide range of options for women and girls so that they can make informed decisions,” Mr Kamlem said.
Over the years, the early warning system (EWS) for contraceptives has improved visibility and monitoring of contraceptive stock status in West and Central Africa and mitigated critical contraceptive stock imbalances.
The two components of the EWS are the Procurement Planning and Monitoring Report (PPMR) and the Coordinated Assistance for Reproductive Health Supplies (CARhs) group, which includes representatives from UNFPA, USAID and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC).