This is a time of dynamic policy advancement in West Africa. Commitments made by policymakers coincide with West Africa having the highest unmet need for family planning (FP) across all regions and some of the lowest contraceptive prevalence rates (CPR) for modern methods in the world. For instance, CPR in Mali is only 9.6 percent while Mauritania is at 11.9 percent, Niger at 14 percent, and Burkina Faso at 18 percent. The good news is that political support for expanded access to family planning and reproductive services is strong. The Ouagadougou Conference (2011), the subsequent Ouagadougou Partnership, and the London Family Planning Summit (2012), now called FP2020, have galvanized national and international stakeholders to join efforts in developing prioritized plans and budgets to advance FP goals.
The HIV epidemic across West Africa also requires a specialized response that focuses on those who are most at risk of HIV. HIV rates among members of key populations are 17 to 30 times higher than the general population. Political support for expanding access to HIV and AIDS services for men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs, and transgender men and women in the region is strong. The Economic Community of West African States has adopted the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals and in 2015, 13 of the 15-country membership have, thus far, signed the "Dakar Declaration on Factoring Key Populations in the Response to HIV and AIDS in ECOWAS Member States."
What We Do
HP+ supports national governments in West Africa, specifically ministries of health and national AIDS commissions to achieve both national and regional FP and HIV goals, focusing on the following areas of work:
- Identify, support, and build capacity for priority policy and advocacy interventions and policy implementation to remove barriers to family planning and HIV programming
- Support and build capacity for strategic planning, including financial forecasting, to improve domestic resource mobilization for health
- Strengthen understanding of the demographic transition and the conditions and actions required for countries to benefit from a potential demographic dividend; this work is done in close collaboration with regional entities, including USAID/West Africa and the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO); other implementing partners; and regional and local stakeholders that are addressing service delivery, commodity security, capacity development, learning and evaluation, and scale-up
West Africa Health Informatics Team
HP+ is supporting the West African Health Organization (WAHO) to develop and train the West Africa Health Informatics Team (WAHIT). WAHIT, a team of local health informatics experts, will provide technical leadership and support to ministries of health across the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to strengthen health information systems through local capacity building.