Opening of 69th session of the WHO-Africa Regional Committee

The President of the Republic of Congo, H. E. Denis Sassou Nguesso, opened the work of the 69th session of the World Health Organisation for Africa (WHO-Africa) Regional Committee, the am of which is to define a health programme for the continent.

Six years later, the Republic of Congo is once again the home of the WHO-Africa Regional Committee from 19th to 23rd August. “With huge and varied expectations, we have to find an adequate response for the environment”, said Sassou Nguesso, in his opening speech.

He also referred in particular to the high maternal and infant-child mortality rates, and epidemics in African countries, such as the haemorrhagic fever of Ebola and the alarming evolution of chronic diseases. The need for the effective implementation of universal health cover, the availability of vaccines and the fight against fake medicines were presented as tools with which to confront these health problems.

Before the WHO representative, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO-Africa representative, Moeti Matshidiso, and health ministers from the forty countries represented, Sassou Nguesso underlined the urgency of a global strategic response to eliminate barriers and extend universal health cover on the continent.

“I urge African States to tale part in the senior level meeting on this matter planned for September 2019 in New York, within the framework of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly”, declared the President.

For his part, the WHO-Africa representative highlighted the context of public health in which this regional committee is facing complex challenges, although progress is also being made. Participants from all over the African continent will analyse the report on the implementation of the WHO transformation agenda, in order to help countries to improve health and welfare in the region.

They will also focus on an integrated regional strategy of vigilance and the control of diseases, the strategic plan to reduce the double burden of malnutrition, the definition of a framework for the provision of essential health services through the strengthening of health systems in communities and districts, in order to support universal cover in the health sector.

Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office

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