The idea to start the network was first conceptualized in 2001 when it became obvious that there was a void in research, training and systematic contribution to policy making in the area of health economics in the West African region. The aim of WAHEN was to promote and sustain the development, knowledge and application of health economics in West Africa.
Two workshops organized by WHO in 1997 and 1998 on Willingness To Pay (WTP) and Economic Evaluation of health interventions in Cape Town in South Africa showed the urgent need for developing and strengthening the capacity of health economics applications. This was in terms of research, training and policy analysis in sub-Saharan Africa. The need to develop and sustain a critical mass of human resource capable in taking up the tasks of economic evaluations and policy analysis was also stressed at those meetings.
- To share skills and experiences among existing health economists and other economists working in the health sector in the region
- To build research and training capacity in health economics in West Africa
- To create a critical mass of researchers and end-users of health economics methodologies and outputs
- To develop and standardise appropriate health economics methodologies for the West African sub-region
- To embark on multi-country collaborative research projects for generating evidence for decision-making.
- To promote interaction and co-operation between researchers and policy-makers with a view to enhancing evidence-based policy-making.