Spotlight on Implementation Science: ECSA-HC’s Role as a Platform for Fostering Evidence to Policy Processes
The East, Central and Southern African Health Community (ECSA-HC) was established in 1974 to foster and strengthen regional cooperation and capacity to address the health needs of the member states. ECSA-HC is an inter-governmental organization that fosters and promotes regional cooperation in health among member states. Member states of the ECSA Health Community are Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Through various other initiatives, ECSA-HC collaborates with non-member states across the region as well. ECSA-HC’s stated aim is to work with countries and partners to raise the standard of health for the people of the ECSA region by promoting efficiency and effectiveness of health services through cooperation, collaboration, research, capacity building, policy development and advocacy.
ECSA-HC’s role and function positions them as a natural platform to advance evidence to policy processes in the region. Professor Yoswa Dambisya, the Director General of ECSA-HC, states,
“We cannot over-emphasize the need for context specific solutions to the health problems in our region. For example, implementation science offers the opportunity to understand how best to develop a well-equipped health workforce able to respond to the prevailing challenges to ensure the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. The training of an adequate pool of highly specialized health professionals to deliver on the ambitious global goals and targets is being addressed in a similar vein and the contributions of various Colleges under the ECSA College of Health Sciences ambit should be seen in this regard.”