PEN-Plus on the Agenda at WAHO Regional Review Meeting

Following the adoption of the PEN-Plus strategy to address severe NCDs at first-level referral health facilities by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO), the West African Health Organization (WAHO) hosted a three-day regional review meeting on the WHO Package of Essential NCD Interventions for Primary Health Care (WHO PEN) that included a presentation on PEN-Plus and the NCDI Poverty Network. Participants met in Cape Verde between 14-16 September 2022.

The event included a presentation from Dr. Prebo Barango of the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO/AFRO) on PEN-Plusas an integrated care delivery strategy to provide chronic care for severe NCDs such as type 1 diabetes, sickle cell disease, and rheumatic heart disease in rural areas. Center for Integration Science Managing Director and NCDI Poverty Network West Africa Regional Lead Emmanuel Mensah followed Dr. Barango’s presentation by sharing the progress the Network has made in introducing, implementing, and scaling-up PEN-Plus in West Africa.

The meeting focused on achievements in implementing the WHO PEN to address the regional burden of NCDs as well as the challenges. The Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC) and WAHO presented a strategic plan for NCDIs and mental health for the region.