Minister shares Seychelles’ experience at world health meet


Minister LarueMinister Larue was among delegates attending the Commonwealth Health Ministers’ Meeting on Sunday May 19 and the World Health Assembly which was held in  Geneva, Switzerland from May 20-25.  She was accompanied by her special adviser Peggy Vidot and Dr Daniella Malulu, the consultant in charge of mental health at the Seychelles Hospital.

Commonwealth health ministers met and discussed mental health under the theme ‘Mental Health: Towards Economic and Social Inclusion’.  They explored policy options to improve mental health  programmes in Commonwealth countries, focused on stigma and care and the importance of meaningful participation within socio-cultural and economic activities.

They also reviewed the progress made in achieving global goals for health.

In the statement issued by the meeting, they recommended strategies to inform the post-2015 development agenda to tackle the issues faced by Commonwealth countries individually and collectively.

Minister Larue also attended the World Health Assembly, where ministers from all member states meet annually to discuss health matters of global concern.

It is attended by delegations from WHO member states and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the executive board.
The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the organisation, appoint the director-general in election years, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.
This year the World Health Assembly discussed a range of new public health measures and recommendations aimed at securing greater health benefits for all people.

In all, 24 resolutions and five decisions were adopted by the nearly 2000 delegates representing the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) member states.

The programme budget was approved. 
Among the many topics discussed, member states agreed on an action plan for non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
The action plan comprises a set of actions which, when performed collectively by member states, UN organisations and other international partners, and WHO, will set the world on a new course to achieve nine globally agreed targets for NCDs, including a reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 25% in 2025.

The action plan also contains a monitoring framework, including 25 indicators to track mortality and morbidity, assess progress in addressing risk factors, and evaluate the implementation of national strategies.

The Assembly had much discussion on the newly identified influenza H7N9 and MERS-CoV (novel coronavirus) outbreaks during the discussions on international health regulations. 

The director-general, Dr Margaret Chan, made the point that one of her greatest concerns right now is the novel coronavirus which she warned requires urgent international attention.

Seychelles has taken all necessary steps as required by the WHO in the event of such an outbreak.

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