4th Meeting of WHO Collaborating Centers in Eastern Mediterranean Region Commences

Muscat, The Sultanate, represented by the

Ministry of Health (MOH), hosted at the Intercontinental Hotel today the

fourth meeting of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) collaborating

centers (CCs) in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Sa’eedi, Minister of Health chaired

the meeting in the presence of Dr. Ahmed bin Salim al-Mandhari, WHO

Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Minister of Health at his welcome speech stressed the role that

such Collaborating Centers play in improving the health conditions of

the regions’ countries. He 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 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.

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

addresses 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 discussing 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.

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.

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.

Source: Oman News Agency