The Executive Council of UNAPSA (2014- 2017) took office on 22nd November, 2014 in Yaounde, Cameroon at the 13th Congress of the Union. The conference provided a platform for vibrant interactive discussions on priority child health issues such as the state of child nutrition and childhood immunisation in Africa. There were contributions to innovative ways to scale up interventions aimed at improving child health indices.
The desire to effectively coordinate, monitor and improve on the contributions of UNAPSA to the optimisation of child health indices in the African region dictated the need for this strategic plan. There is need to recognise and define the internal strengths of Paediatric societies and associations with the aim of potentiating collaborative activities that scale up child survival and development. There is also need for the recognition of the mostly underutilised human resources within the African region. Therefore, the encouragement of efforts to harness our potentials and draw on the goodwill within and outside the region is of paramount importance. The establishment of partnerships within the region that draw on the internal strength of UNAPSA as well as define and utilise the external human and material resources within the African region will maximise the impact of interventions on child health. Such partnerships are needed so that we share our best practices. This is particularly relevant in this new era of progression from UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Clearly, there are challenges within UNAPSA and indeed in the African region that call for innovative ways to overcome if progressive growth of UNAPSA is to be sustained. The foremost challenge is the weak communication among members of UNAPSA. There is need to create a sustained and vibrant interactive forum for discussion of our issues which are largely common to all members. I am very pleased to enjoy the cooperation of the last Executive Council and to have the broad experience of Prof Angela Okolo, the UNAPSA Executive Director, at our disposal. I thank our Treasurer, Dr Bose Babaniyi for her dedication and enjoin you all, dear colleagues, to contribute towards the success of this Strategic plan as a platform to further strengthen our Union and to drive interventions aimed at child survival and development.
Dr Dorothy Esangbedo