Health Ministers' handbook launched

on Thursday, 22 May 2014.

Prof. Francis Omaswa center during the launch of the ministers handbook-GenevaProf. Francis Omaswa center during the launch of the ministers handbook-GenevaThat a healthy nation is a wealthy nation is not up for debate any more. That is why there are many well-intentioned programs aimed at improving health and access to health services the world over.

However, as recipients of health services such as mothers, children and the elderly as well services providers like the doctors and nurses are always at the fore-front of many campaigns, the people who govern and manage the country’s health systems - the ministers - are usually forgotten.
But on May 22, 2014 the ministers of health were the focus. A book titled, “Handbook for Health Ministers” was launched in Geneva, Switzerland by Dr. Pinkie Rosemary Manamolela, the Lesotho kingdom health minister.


The book is intended to help health ministers and managers in their dutiesThe book is intended to help health ministers and managers in their dutiesShe said: “On behalf of the Ministers of Health from the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA- HC), I am pleased to launch the Handbook for Ministers of Health. I first heard about this work from Prof. Francis Omaswa and his colleagues in February 2014, at the 58th Conference of Health Ministers from the ECSA-HC in Arusha Tanzania.

The ministers appreciated the content of the handbook and adopted a resolution calling for it to be finalized. It is my hope that this book will contribute to stronger health systems and better health outcomes for all, people not only in Africa, but around the world.”
The 56-page handbook aims at providing new ministers with a guide to the landscape they will face as well as tips on navigating their responsibilities within their countries and international organizations that deal with global health policy.
Tim Evans, the director health, nutrition and population at the World Bank wrote in the foreword of the handbook: “The important role of ministers and the support they need must become a national and international priority. This volume helps us to understand what needs to be done.”

Uganda’s minister of health, Dr. Ruhakana Ruganda welcomed the handbook as a useful resource and said: “As an African minister of Health, I find this handbook relevant and helpful in focusing attention to Key roles for ministers and pointing out how and where to access information and other resources…”
The handbook was written by Francis Omaswa and Jo Ivey Bouffand in collaboration with the African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation and the New York Academy of Medicine. It is available at $10.