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WHO-FIC Collaborating Centre

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, that all UN Member States have agreed to try, aim to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030. This includes financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

The WHO-FIC Collaborating Centre in South Africa is hosted by the Burden of Disease Research Unit, South African Medical Research Council in Cape Town, South Africa. The Centre supports the development, implementation and maintenance of the WHO-FIC across the African region, and through the global WHO-FIC Network.

The WHO Family of International Classifications (WHO-FIC) is pivotal in delivering Universal Health Coverage in the African region.

The terms of reference can be summarised as (A) supporting the development, revision, maintenance and evaluation of WHO-FIC internationally, and in South Africa and the WHO-AFRO region; and (B) participating in joint WHO-FIC development and maintenance activities through the WHO-FIC Network.

In more detail the terms of reference are:

  1. Assisting WHO in developing, maintaining and revising the WHO Family of International Classifications, Terminologies and Standards (WHO-FIC), in particular the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), the International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI), and relevant terminological and ontological aspects
  2. Contributing to the international network of WHO-FIC Collaborating Centres under WHO’s leadership
  3. Providing support for local and regional users of classifications at the request of WHO
  4. Promoting use of the WHO-FIC by developing and sharing training materials, organising and conducting training courses, and translating international WHO-FIC materials for local use, in coordination with WHO
  5. Supporting WHO to strengthen the implementation of WHO classifications, supporting quality assurance procedures of the WHO-FIC classifications regarding mechanisms, norms and standards of classification use, data collection, and data analysis.

The WHO-FIC Collaborating Centre in South Africa set itself the following objectives for the period 2021-2022 in keeping to the above-mentioned terms of reference:

  1. Be a sustainable WHO-FIC collaborating centre in terms of human and financial resources
  2. Effectively participate in the international WHO-FIC network to develop, maintain and implement the classifications
  3. Serve as catalyst for implementation of the WHO-FIC classifications in South Africa
  4. Engage with and support WHO-AFRO regarding the implementation of the WHO-FIC classifications in the WHO African region
  5. Report on lessons learnt regarding the development and implementation of the WHO-FIC
  6. Develop, deliver and evaluate education relating to the WHO classifications
  7. Participate in research and development to improve cause of death statistics.

The WHO-FIC Collaborating Centre in South Africa shares the values of Equity, Excellence, Solidarity, Respect, Integrity, Ubuntu and Social responsibility.

To cooperate with countries and other stakeholders in the WHO African region to develop and advance WHO-FIC.

The WHO African Region is one of the six regions of WHO. The Organization's presence in the region consists of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, a Secretariat for the African region, three Inter-country Support Teams (ISTs) and WHO Country and Liaison Offices located in 47 Member States.

Coordinate and share experiences, knowledge, and the production of scientific evidence on WHO-FIC to contribute to Universal Health Coverage and strong health information systems in the WHO African region.

The WHO-FIC Collaborating Centre in South Africa is based at the Burden of Disease Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council, and enjoys good relations with the WHO Regional Office for Africa through the Health Information Systems team at the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

The current designation of the Collaborating Centre is in the process of being formalised by WHO (August 2021).

Click here to download a summary of our Operational Plan

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