Dr. Daff spoke with John Donnelly about the lessons of his first trip to Washington to promote family planning in West Africa.
Dr. Bocar Mamadou Daff, director of reproductive health services in Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Prevention, is in Washington, D.C., this week for a second time in a month. Earlier, he participated in several MLI sessions at the Global Health Council’s annual conference. Now, he is scheduled to meet with several key aides to U.S. Senators and congressmen to talk about the importance of supporting family planning, especially in West Africa.
Dr. Daff spoke with John Donnelly about the lessons of his first June trip to Washington and his hopes for the second visit.
Q: What was important about the Global Health Council conference for you?
A: What I took away was that it was a real opportunity to review the work going on with MLI. And it was also an opportunity for the five MLI countries (Ethiopia, Mali, Nepal, Senegal and Sierra Leone) to regroup and talk about what they had done and also to look ahead at what needs to be done next.
I think there were two key moments during the week. The first was the “Call to Action”when it was launched. It was a key moment to tell people about the direction we are going in country ownership and it gave all five countries an opportunity to talk about their experiences.
The second moment was the panel called “If Countries Lead, Will Donors Follow?” A lot of representatives from NGOs and donors came to listen to the experience of MLI. I was really surprised to see the number of people who came as well as the quality of the people who came. If MLI can capitalize on the results and outcome of that special session, then that will allow us to have a greater impact in Africa and in our countries.
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