USAID Leads Health Dialogue between the Private Sector and Governments in West Africa

A health worker in Mauritania showing the SMS which indicates she has successfully sent her nutrition report (© 2012 eHealth Africa, Courtoisie de Photoshare)
A health worker in Mauritania showing the SMS which indicates she has successfully sent her nutrition report (© 2012 eHealth Africa, Courtoisie de Photoshare)

Accra, Ghana – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is holding a two-day workshop in Accra, Ghana, to develop a roadmap on how the public and private sectors can collaborate to improve and expand health services in West Africa. Discussions will highlight the findings of two reports on the private health sector and mobile technology for health (mHealth in the region. The reports underline the role and contribution of the private sector and mHealth applications to reproductive health and family planning as well as HIV/AIDS interventions.

“These reports help fill information gaps about private health sector engagement and the role of mobile technology,” said Bradley Wallach, USAID West Africa Acting Mission Director. “Through this workshop, USAID is providing a platform for health stakeholders in West Africa to initiate transformational healthcare partnerships – collaborations that will lead to more profound change than could be achieved by any single organization alone.”

The Private Health Sector in West Africa: A Six-Country Macro-Level Assessment highlights the scope of the private health sector in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Niger and Togo in the supply of products and services for sexual reproductive health, family planning and HIV/AIDS. The report examines the legal and regulatory environment and public-private-partnerships in each country, and also provides partnership recommendations.

mHealth in West Africa: A Landscape Report assesses the current status of the use of mHealth to improve health outcomes in the 15 ECOWAS countries plus Cameroon and Mauritania.  The report examines current stakeholders, trends, and barriers to its use, and also identifies promising mHealth public-private-partnerships.

The workshop, organized by USAID West Africa through the Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project, brings together over 60 public and private health representatives and experts from 11 West African countries, as well as others from around the world.  Participants include representatives of host country governments, the West African Health Organization (WAHO), the World Bank Group, mobile network operators, and mobile applications developers. For more information and to view summaries of the reports, visit


USAID’s Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) is a global USAID project that works to increase the role and investment of the private sector in the sustainable provision and use of public health information, service delivery (Family Planning, HIV/AIDS, etc.) and products.

The goal of USAID in West Africa is to promote social and economic well-being advanced by West Africans.  Spanning 21 countries, the USAID/West Africa regional office designs and implements programs with West African partners to strengthen systems of non-violent conflict management, support economic growth, and expand quality health services. The American people, through USAID, provide economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 100 countries worldwide.