The West Africa health examinations board (WAHEB) was established in 1925 and was affiliated to the Royal Society of Health London for the purposes of training and certification of Public Health Inspectors and Public Health Nurses in the West African sub-region consisting of five Anglo-phone West African countries of The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. In 1982, WAHEB became independent of the Royal Society of Health, London but commenced business in 1983 performing same functions in the sub-region through main organs – the Board and the secretariat, by this the Nigeria Foreign Exchange was preserved due to the new role now played by WAHEB. The Boards Secretariat has the mandate of planning, administering all the examinations, curriculum modification /review and implementing policies made by the board.
Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Gambia had since ratified the WAHEB’s Constitution. The constitution is subscribed by all the member countries as follows:
- Nigeria – 45%
- Ghana – 25%
- Sierra Leone – 14%
- Liberia – 9%
- The Gambia – 7%
The board is mainly funded by the Students Indexing and Examination fees. According to the WAHEB constitution, the Director Public Health is a statutory Chairman of WAHEB, he/she chairs all WAHEB meetings. The Board has two distinct committees namely: The Administration and finance committee (AFC) and the examination committee (EC).
The Board members comprise of representatives from member countries.
Duties/Mandate of The Board
It shall be the duty of the board:
- To review and consider annually the examinations to be held in West Africa for the purpose of furthering Public Health interest in West Africa.
- To conduct such examinations as the board may think appropriate to the purposes of its constitution and to award certificates and diplomas on the results of the examinations so conducted
The Board consists of the following members
- Eleven members nominated by the Government of Nigeria
- Four members nominated by the Government of Ghana
- Three members nominated by the Government of Sierra Leone
- Two members nominated by the Government of the Gambia
- Two members nominated by the Government of Liberia
- Chairman and Secretary of each National Committee of member countries should be nominated as members of the board
- Two Public Health Inspectors and a Public Health Nurse representing the interest of Professional National Association of each member countries
The Board shall have Chairman who shall:
- Be either the Director of Public Health Services, Nigeria or the Director of Medical Services in The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone or Liberia as elected by the Board