SADC ministers of health zoom in on public health matters

12 Nov 2018 14:30pm
WINDHOEK, 12 NOV (NAMPA) – Southern African Development Community (SADC) ministers responsible for health have urged member states to enhance operational readiness and preparedness to mitigate the impact of emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases in the region.
The ministers made the call at the end of a one-day joint ministerial meeting here on Thursday that deliberated on public health issues in order to contribute to the attainment of improved quality of life of the people in the region.
In a media statement issued Monday on the resolutions of the meeting, the ministers, amongst others, re-affirmed their commitment to support the Democratic Republic of Congo in dealing with the frequent re-emergence of the Ebola virus.
The meeting urged member countries to adopt the ‘Call to Action’ for renewed commitment on early childhood nutrition, as a SADC commitment to accelerate nutrition actions in the region.
It directed the SADC Secretariat to explore opportunities of involving regional and national organisations based on their comparative advantage to support implementation of high impact nutrition interventions.
The SADC ministers also directed the secretariat to work with partners such as the World Health Organisation and ‘Stop TB Partnership’ to mobilise additional technical and financial resources to support member states, including the island states, in developing national performance improvement plans towards universal access to tuberculosis services.
“The meeting noted progress made on the operationalisation of the SADC Pooled Procurement Services for Medicines and Health Commodities and the signing of the memorandum of understanding between the government of Tanzania and SADC Secretariat,” the statement noted.
On the elimination of measles, ministers urged member states to operationalise the 2017 Addis Ababa Immunisation Declaration to eliminate measles and other vaccine preventable diseases by 2020.
The joint ministerial meeting was attended by SADC ministers and their representatives from Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, eSwatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The meeting was also attended by representatives from international and cooperating partners, United Nations agencies and implementing agencies and was preceded by a two-day meeting of senior officials from the health and HIV and AIDS sectors.
The next such meeting will be held in Tanzania in November 2019.