65th Session of WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean Kicks-off (1-2)


Haffiya Elyas

65th Session of WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean Kicks-off (1-2)

The President of the Republic Omer Al Bashir will address the Health Ministers and high-level representatives of the 22 countries and territories of the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region, partner organizations and civil society, will take part in the Sixty-fifth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean, in Khartoum, Sudan, from 15 to 18 October 2018.

The Federal Minister of Health, Mohamed Abu Zaid said this meeting is very important to the countries of the region, stated that the*technical health issues on this year’s agenda will include advancing universal health coverage protecting people from the impact of health emergencies promoting health and well-being optimizing WHO’s performance: countries at the centre private sector engagement for advancing universal health coverage.

Abu Zaid said that the 4-day programme will also include progress reports on: eradication of poliomyelitis; scaling up family practice to make progress towards universal health coverage; improving access to assistive technology; strategic framework on strengthening health laboratory services 2016–2020; implementation of the regional strategic framework for blood safety and availability 2016–2025; regional strategy and action plan for tobacco control reflecting the commitments of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; progress of States Parties in implementing the International Health Regulations (2005), including Report of the Regional Assessment Commission; and health issues facing populations affected by disasters and emergencies. These reports provide updates on implementation of resolutions approved by the Regional Committee at previous sessions, he added.

Health Ministers and high-level representatives of the 22 countries and territories of WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region, partner and civil society organizations will gather in Khartoum next week to attend the 65th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean, being hosted by the Government of Sudan, from 15 to 18 October 2018.

The Regional Committee is WHO’s decision-making body in the Region, convening once a year to discuss and endorse regional policies, activities and financial plans. Its inaugural session, on the morning of 15 October, will be attended by Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, HE Dr Mohamed Abu Zaid Mustafa, Federal Minister of Health of the host country, Sudan.

Dr Al-Mandhari was elected as WHO Regional Director in May this year and assumed office on 1 June. In his first Regional Committee, Dr Al-Mandhari will outline WHO’s regional vision for its work with countries from 2018 to 2023 in the document “Vision 2023: health for all by all in the Region – a call for solidarity and action”. “Vision 2023 represents a renewed commitment to WHO’s mandate and fundamental goal of health for all, but it is also a call for partnership, solidarity and action by all towards achieving this aspiring goal. We need to engage everyone – governments, professionals, nongovernmental organizations, communities, civil society and individuals – as proactive agents for health,” stated Dr Al-Mandhari.

Key public health issues being addressed on this year’s agenda correspond to the priorities identified in WHO’s Thirteenth Programme of Work (GPW13) – advancing universal health coverage (UHC), protecting people from the impact of health emergencies, promoting health and well-being, optimizing WHO’s performance and engaging the private sector to progress towards UHC.

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