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Côte d'Ivoire : Raymonde Goudou Coffie, an exceptional pharmacist
Côte d'Ivoire : Raymonde Goudou Coffie, an exceptional pharmacist
Pure natural product of the PDCI-RDA, Raymonde Goudou Coffie will start as a grassroots activist. Since 1986, Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie has been discreetly involved in the activities of the PDCI-RDA.
In 1995, under the impetus of Professor Alphonse Djedje Mady, then a member of the PDCI-RDA’s political bureau and then Secretary General, and former Minister Boniface Britto, she decided to put her excellent writing skills, her spirit of synthesis and her vision as a great communicator at the service of the party: Félix Houphouët-Boigny’s PDCI. She did her classes and went through all the stages until she found herself at the inspection of the Party that the Prime Minister and former vice-president Daniel Kablan Duncan was leading, of which she was a close collaborator.
This closeness in the work made it possible to appreciate the qualities of this great statesman. Having become Prime Minister of Alassane Ouattara from 2012 to 2017, she will join him in the government.
Within this 70-year-old political party, a great women’s rights activist, she initiates members to awareness with a good dose of innovation. She defends a new approach and promotes the promotion of women in decision-making positions through the coalition of women leaders of Côte d’Ivoire.
It is a project that she dedicates to all women. Through this citizen initiative, Raymonde Goudou Coffie encourages women to take an interest in politics. Guided by the desire to create a generation of women leaders, and inspired by Nancy Pelosi, the current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and the first woman to hold this position in that country.
She and her friends will train more than 200 women on issues of leadership and political participation. The result is a real breeding ground for decision-makers. Today, these women are present in many positions of responsibility and decision making in Côte d’Ivoire: ministers, senators, deputies, mayors, etc. The success of this dynamic vision of women is there for all to see. It is a commitment that is bearing fruit in view of the increasing number of women executives. As a woman leader and international gender expert, she carries on her shoulders the hopes of millions of women and is the perfect role model for them. She has fought to bring forth new generations of women engaged in decision-making in society, instead of marginalized women.
Raymonde Goudou Coffie is a pharmacist-biologist who graduated from the University of Caen in France in 1984. She was head pharmacist of the laboratory and pharmacy of the regional hospital centre (CHR) in Yamoussoukro for two years from 1984 to 1986. In charge of the management of the laboratory and pharmacy part of this first-rate health establishment, she demonstrated her art of adapting to all types of situations and meeting challenges, whatever they may be. With the same determination, she displayed a very high level of professionalism that earned her the respect of her hierarchy and her staff. After two years of good and loyal service in the Ivorian political capital, she opened her own pharmacy, the Appaul pharmacy, in 1986 in Daloa, in the centre-west of the country. Doctor Goudou Coffie stayed there for twenty years.
The campaign for the second round of the presidential election once again reveals Raymonde Goudou Coffie who captivates the attention of all, during the televised debates, thanks to the quality of her interventions, her sharp analyses and her irreproachable arguments. The candidate Alassane Ouattara will not remain indifferent by immediately noticing her undeniable skills. ADO was right.
Indeed, when the President of the Republic Alassane Ouattara took office, he appointed the Dr as Minister of Family, Women and Children. She will serve one year in this position (2011-2012). She will travel throughout the country to touch the problems and realities related to the family, women and children.
She will then set up listening units everywhere, staffed by specialists in the field, promoting proximity with the population. As an advocate of proven methods that have proven their effectiveness, she innovates in her approach and encourages pragmatism to achieve excellent results. Very attached to the issue of women’s empowerment, she obtained an increase in the budget dedicated to the Women and Development Fund within her ministry from 300 million to 800 million CFA francs.
The Minister is working and actively engaged in important projects such as the law on marriage, which will eventually be adopted. Articles 58, 59, 60, and 67 of this law are revised, adopted and cited during the celebration of marriages, based on the lobbying of Minister Raymonde Goudou Coffie. Women are now at the centre of the home and actively participate in it. These articles mainly advocate tax benefits for both men and women.
In 2012, Raymonde Goudou Coffie takes over the highly technical and strategic ministerial portfolio of Health and Public Hygiene and will spend six years in this department, from 2012 to 2018. Upon her arrival, the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene is in tatters. The salary index for health personnel is insufficient and lower than that of the teaching staff, for example, the population is unaware of the health structures, the attendance rate in health establishments is very low, there is a glaring absence of doctors due to a clear lack of motivation and the technical facilities leave something to be desired. Everything needs to be redone.
The new minister is getting active, shaking up old habits and setting up a work charter, clearly defining the main missions of the structure she has to lead: to develop, implement and ensure the follow-up of health and public hygiene policies. In addition to these missions, it has very high objectives that speak volumes about the dynamic it intends to instil in this ministry: to improve the health of the population, promote public hygiene and strengthen the fight against communicable and non-communicable diseases.
It is time to relaunch, to mobilise resources, to replenish the house’s coffers to finance all the health campaigns, to resume health programmes where they left off, and to brilliantly anticipate and meet the health challenges to come. Minister Goudou Coffie is quickly putting her recovery plan into action. Thanks to her more than convincing plea to President Alassane Ouattara, she obtained an increase in the salary index for the medical profession and set about improving the technical facilities of all the country’s health structures.
Since then, the doctors have returned and the population is making better use of these facilities. Ivorians are regaining confidence in their health system. The first objective has been achieved. As part of the restructuring of her ministry, the minister is designing and implementing the New Public Health Pharmacy (the New PSP), which is being set up with the aim of creating more efficient management of medicines and putting a definitive end to stock shortages of pharmaceutical products. It is therefore a modern New PSP, better able to meet the Ivorians’ needs for medicines, that is being set up and is now ISO 9001 2015 certified. It has been a total success.
In 2014, Ebola will be launched. Minister Raymonde Goudou Coffie will have to deal with Ebola disease and its announced disastrous consequences on the inhabitants and the economy. Ebola is a serious, often fatal disease, with a fatality rate of up to a record 90%. Many African countries are affected, in this case Liberia and Guinea, which border the Ivory Coast.
The challenge is great, except that whoever is in charge of the Ivorian health sector has strong shoulders to rise to the challenge. In such a context of supranational health crisis, she will show the full extent of her skills as a health specialist, a great manager and a confirmed leader. She is very quick to take the pulse of the situation and anticipates the entire health crisis very well.
Yes, the reaction of the State of Côte d’Ivoire, via the Ministry of Health and Public Hygiene, is remarkable. Immediately, as a manager, Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie travelled to border towns, raising awareness throughout the country and involving people closely in the fight against the epidemic, with an extraordinary communication strategy.
As a result, Côte d’Ivoire has no reported cases of Ebola. The disease response plan is recognised by the WHO as a success. Raymonde GOUDOU COFFIE surrounds herself with a small, homogeneous team of competent men and women, composed of eminent medical professors, virologists and other experts to bring the Ebola response. This team, which she presides over, carries out irreproachable scientific work.
The strategy implemented by her services to counter the Ebola epidemic is paying off. In addition to these scientists, the Minister of Health and Public Hygiene is involving the prefectural body, the customary authorities, religious leaders and all the active forces of the Ivorian nation in the fight against the disease. She supervises all stages of the operation and does not hesitate to crack down on any violators of the measures imposed by the Ivorian state. Everything is there: the principle and the practice, the form and the substance.
Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie d thus gives Ivorians new habits. The health services ensure that specific prevention and control measures are applied: washing hands, avoiding contact with the biological fluids of suspected or confirmed Ebola cases. Dr RaymondeGoudou Coffie designed the Ebola Protocol, which has been very successful in its application.
This protocol will serve as a working basis for the Ivorian authorities to recently put in place the Covid-19 protocol. This is to say to what extent she and her teams have produced a work of reference. The implementation of the said strategy is even becoming a textbook case that is being hailed in Côte d’Ivoire.
Côte d’Ivoire will export its expertise on the Ebola issue by sending doctors to Liberia, Guinea and other countries affected by the disease. The largest international institutions, including the World Health Organization (WHO), pay him a heartfelt tribute.
The Ivorians were spared and the country’s economy continued to function at that time, thus avoiding a definite economic crisis. Investors are reassured by authorities who give every guarantee that they are managing the situation. The government representative is undoubtedly the one who carries the DNA of this “Ivorian economic miracle” under the Ouattara era. Dr. Goudou Coffie is the “Miracle of Alassane Ouattara’s economy”, as the impact of his masterful management of the disease has had such a positive impact on the Ivorian economy.
Countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Conakry, Mali, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to name but a few, have not had the same success in their fight against the epidemic. These states have suffered human losses and seen their GDP fall dramatically. Their economies have suffered as a result. As part of the fight against Ebola, the Ivorian Minister of Health and Public Hygiene joins her African peers such as Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck, a specialist in infectious diseases and Minister of Health and Social Action of Senegal at the time of the outbreak of Ebola.
Awa Marie Coll Seck is today Minister of State to the President of the Republic of Senegal. The association of these éminences grises will considerably slow down the progress of the disease. President Alassane Ouattara, in person, will extend his congratulations to her. Beyond international borders, his management of Ebola and his persuasive and efficient management earned him the recognition of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia at the time of the events.
On an official visit to Abidjan, the Liberian president publicly congratulates the Ivorian Minister of Health and Public Hygiene. The prestigious Harvard University, for example, will make Dr. Raymonde Goudou Coffie one of its members in its ministerial health programme and Côte d’Ivoire will then escape the adverse effects of this epidemic.
Dedicated to the task, Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie will succeed in her wager to free Côte d’Ivoire from polio and eradicate Guinea worm. This is a feat. She is committed to the fight against the illicit traffic of medicines, the health of mothers and children, and the fight against cancer. Moreover, with her, the President of the Republic inaugurated the first Senology Centre, with a consequent treatment of patients. The first Institute of Nuclear Medicine is created, reinforcing the technical platform of the fight against cancer.
The first Alassane Ouattara Radiotherapy and Medical Oncology Centre in Côte d’Ivoire is inaugurated by the President of the Republic in 2015. This Centre serves the sub-region. Côte d’Ivoire’s experience is shared by the countries of the sub-region.
A strong symbol of its commitment, from 2013 to 2016, it will sit on the board of Roll Back Malaria, founded in 1998 by WHO, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Bank with the aim of halving the malaria burden by 2010.
In 2016, her peers are asking her to join the Board of the Gavi Alliance for Vaccines for a three-year term (2016-2018). The Chair of the Board is then held by the Nigerian, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Minister of Finance. On 4 May 2018, she was chosen as “Champion of the 2018 Gavi Mid-Term Review”.
On 9 August 2017, at the end of the Presidential Health Council (CPS), the President of the Republic decided to invest even more in this social sector to which he attaches great importance: eight hundred and twenty-three billion (823) over the period 2017-2020. In this ambitious programme, priority is given to the regions that will be equipped with General Hospitals (HG) and Regional Hospital Centres (CHR) with centres of specialisation, particularly in traumatology. With this policy, the President of the Republic wants to reduce the distances between health regions and facilitate the transfer and efficient care of patients.
With positive progress in the fight against AIDS (prevalence rate 2.7% in 2016 (UNAIDS estimate) compared to 3.7% (source: EDS 2012), Côte d’Ivoire has been chosen to organise the 19th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (ICASA), from 4 to 9 December 2017 in Abidjan.
Organised every two years, ICASA brings together people working in the field of HIV, along with leaders, people living with HIV, activists and representatives of civil society. It is an opportunity for researchers from around the world to exchange the latest scientific advances in order to develop strategies for new HIV prevention and treatment options.
More than 4,000 delegates from over 125 countries and 15,000 visitors, including heads of state, are gathering in Abidjan for this event, which is being held in the presence of the Ivorian head of state, Alassane Ouattara. At the opening of the conference, Raymonde Goudou Coffie will deliver a speech that will touch many and make a strong statement that will mark the whole assembly: “Health is a right, to end AIDS is our duty. »
In 2018, she is appointed Minister of Modernisation of Administration and Innovation of the Public Service. In this position, Raymonde Goudou Coffie creates a climate of trust and shares her vision of a modern administration that is quick to fulfil its public service mission. A woman of challenge, she is setting up the “Miliê” platform to bring people closer to public services and help administrations to correct malfunctions. A masterstroke. The “Miliê” Citizen Portal remains the Government’s first interactive platform.
Officer in the National Order of Côte d’Ivoire, Commander in the Order of Health, Commander in the Order of Malta, Commander in the Ivorian Order of Cultural Merit, Raymonde Goudou Coffie can safely say that she has the confidence of the President of the Republic who has been kind enough to take her under his wing, her ability to respond to the challenges.
A member of the RHDP, the majority party in power, she inherits in 2020 from the Ministry of Culture and Francophonie, following the appointment of its incumbent as Ambassador of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire to the French Republic. Originally from Toumodi, a stronghold region of the PDCI-RDA, and the only woman from the PDCI-RDA to openly mark her political courage by participating greatly in the establishment of the presidential party, made difficult after the withdrawal of Henri Konan Bédié from the RHDP, Raymonde Goudou Coffie is a woman of conviction. Open-minded and reputed to be very close to Dominique Ouattara, the First Lady, with whom she maintains a fraternal and trusting relationship, she has succeeded in getting her personality as a lady who listens to her “parents” and is generous. The implementation of the RHDP is then gradually taking place.
Dr Raymonde Goudou Coffie, whose father is originally from Guadeloupe and whose mother is from Côte d’Ivoire, continues her mission in the service of Côte d’Ivoire and the population.