Seychelles delegation takes part in high-level regional discussion on health challenges |25 August 2021
Seychelles Minister for Health, Peggy Vidot, is leading a six-member Seychelles delegation to the 71st sessions of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, which got underway yesterday.
The three-day virtual meeting, hosted by the Republic of Togo, to discuss and endorse regional health policies, programmes and plans to improve health and wellbeing in the African region, has brought together more than 400 health delegates from 46 African member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and observers from several non-governmental organisations.
For the second consecutive year, the session is taking place virtually on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In his address to officially launch the sessions, the WHO director-general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, focused on the Covid-19 pandemic, its impact on the region and the inequitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in the region.
“The Covid-19 vaccine crisis illustrates the fundamental weakness at the root of the pandemic; the lack of global solidarity and sharing. Sharing of information and data, biological samples, resources, technology and tools,” said the WHO director-general.
He added that the pandemic had also shown that the “world needs an empowered and sustainably financed WHO at the centre of the global health architecture”.
For her part, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, commended the African governments through their health ministers, for working tirelessly and showing strong leadership to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and sustaining action on other priorities.
“Looking forward, African governments need to be firmly in the driver’s seat to push for changes that are evidence-based, relevant and that respond to the greatest needs,” said the WHO Regional Director, who reassured the countries of the WHO’s commitment to working with member states “to realise good health for all people in Africa and globally”.
Among the issues being discussed at the two-day forum, apart from Covid-19, are the sustainable financing of WHO, cervical cancer as a public health concern, reinforcing the integrated response to tuberculosis, HIV, sexually transmitted infections, viral hepatitis; improving access to assistive health technologies, bolstering uptake of digital health, defeating meningitis by 2030 and polio. Seychelles’ Minister for Health, Mrs Vidot, says that the annual Regional Committee meeting is an extremely useful forum.
“It is an occasion for Seychelles to present its successes and challenges in health to the rest of the African region and, also, for the region to find solutions to common challenges together,” she says.
Seychelles delegation at the session include the principal secretary for Health, Dr Bernard Valentin; chief executive of the Health Care Agency, Dr Danny Louange; Public Health Commissioner, Dr Jude Gedeon; director general for Health Policy and Development, Dr Agnes Chetty and Chief Medical Officer, Dr Susan Fock Tave. The WHO Representative in Seychelles, Dr Teniin Gakuruh, was also in attendance.
Press release from the Ministry of Health