KIGALI - The Executive Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Margaret Chan, yesterday said that the health summit which opens today in Kigali, provides an opportunity for African countries to address major health challenges the continent is faced with.
Addressing the press shortly after her arrival at Kigali International Airport, Chan said that the 59th Regional Committee Meeting of WHO-Africa, to be attended by Health Ministers from over 46 African countries, provides an opportune moment for Africa to tackle head-on some major health issues such as epidemics and access to health services.
“This is a very important meeting where people will come together to discuss major issues such as Millennium Development Goals, Primary Health Care, the AIDS Pandemic as well as the current pandemic of influenza,” Chan who was received by Health Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera said.
“I also think it will be important for the ministers to share ideas and experiences on the practical approaches to address major health challenges. I commend the Government of Rwanda for taking the initiative to organise this meeting.”
Dr. Chan, together with the visiting Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Dr Michel Sidibé, are some of the top officials to address the meeting.
According to Summit coordinator, Dr Bonaventure Nzeyimana, over 500 delegates from 46 countries will attend the five-day meeting.
“The meeting will address a number health related issues on the continent and also elect the Director General of the Regional Committee for Africa,” said Nzeyimana.
Some of the key areas expected to be tabled at the meeting include; coming up with appropriate ways of accelerating the HIV prevention in African and a progress report on child survival and strategies for Africa.
The meeting will also look into how best Africa can implement the International Health Regulations.
Earlier, the Rwandan Minister of Health, Dr. Richard Sezibera, said that Rwanda will showcase it s achievements in the health sector and as well learn from cases of other countries.
Currently, Rwanda is one of the best performers on the continent in terms of offering good public health which is indicated through a number policies set aside by the government. Among these is the success of the Mutuelle de Sante the communal insurance scheme in Rwanda.