Coun­tries in WHO South-East Asia to in­ten­sify ef­forts to con­trol dengue, elim­i­nate malaria

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Re­porter

Coun­tries in WHO South-East Asia re­solved to ac­cel­er­ate ef­forts to con­trol dengue which threat­ens nearly 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple with fre­quent and large scale out­breaks, and con­trol malaria, that con­tin­ues to be en­demic in the Re­gion.

“We need to in­ten­sify multi-sec­toral ap­proach at the na­tional as well as the grass­roots level to reach the most vul­ner­a­ble and marginal­ized com­mu­ni­ties, strengthen sur­veil­lance, op­er­a­tional­ize cross-bor­der col­lab­o­ra­tion and most im­por­tantly pro­mote vec­tor con­trol,” Dr Poonam Khetra­pal Singh, Re­gional Di­rec­tor WHO South-East Asia, said at the Seventy-first Re­gional Com­mit­tee ses­sion, which con­cluded here to­day.

The 11-Mem­ber coun­tries of the Re­gion which ac­counts for one-fourth of the global pop­u­la­tion, 58% of the global bur­den of Plas­mod­ium vi­vax malaria, and is at in­creas­ing risk of dengue and other vec­tor borne dis­eases in view of the in­creas­ing ur­ban­iza­tion and cli­mate change, adopted a res­o­lu­tion to pri­or­i­tize dengue con­trol and malaria elim­i­na­tion.

Re­view­ing the progress, chal­lenges, ca­pac­i­ties and op­por­tu­ni­ties for strength­en­ing health work­force, the coun­tries agreed to con­tinue to fo­cus on front­line work­ers, im­prove ru­ral re­ten­tion and trans­for­ma­tive ed­u­ca­tion, and in­crease co­or­di­na­tion be­tween health and other min­istries.

To fur­ther ad­vance health of new­borns, chil­dren and moth­ers, the coun­tries agreed to en­hance bud­gets and ad­dress so­cial in­equities. They em­pha­sized that in­te­grated ap­proach with re­pro­duc­tive new­born, ma­ter­nal, child and ado­les­cent health pro­grammes ac­tiv­i­ties are at the heart of univer­sal health cov­er­age and for en­sur­ing qual­ity of care while “leav­ing no one be­hind”.

Mon­i­tor­ing progress against univer­sal health cov­er­age (UHC) and the health-re­lated Sus­tain­able De­vel­op­ment Goals, the Mem­ber coun­tries agreed to con­tinue to de­velop and im­ple­ment poli­cies to ad­vance eq­uity and ef­fi­ciency.

The Re­gional Com­mit­tee ses­sion adopted the ‘Delhi Dec­la­ra­tion' with Mem­ber coun­tries com­mit­ting to make es­sen­tial med­i­cal prod­ucts ac­ces­si­ble and af­ford­able to all, both within the Re­gion and be­yond.

The ses­sion adopted another res­o­lu­tion which seeks to strengthen emer­gency med­i­cal teams (EMTs) to en­hance pre­pared­ness in WHO South-East Asia, prone to nat­u­ral dis­as­ters.

The Mem­ber coun­tries wel­comed ex­pan­sion of the man­date of South­East Asia Re­gional Health Emer­gency Fund (SEARHEF), from re­sponse to pre­pared­ness, to be bet­ter equipped to han­dle dis­as­ters. The SEARHEF has sup­ported 37 emer­gen­cies in nine coun­tries of the Re­gion since its in­cep­tion a decade ago, meet­ing im­me­di­ate needs of af­fected com­mu­ni­ties, and save lives.

Health min­is­ters and ex­perts from coun­tries in WHO South-East Asia Re­gion ended five day de­lib­er­a­tions on pri­or­ity is­sues, em­pha­siz­ing on univer­sal health cov­er­age for en­sur­ing health for all

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