Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Equatorial Guinea Sets Sights On Improving Professional Capacity And Upgrading Facilities In Health Sector

Minister of Health and Social Welfare discusses improvements in national health services through the education of Equatorial Guinean health care professionals

There is “a huge effort from the Head of State and Government to purchase medicines, medical supplies, and medical equipment, but we also need to ensure that management is conducted responsibly, and we have people of integrity in leadership positions,” according to the Minister of Health and Social Welfare of Equatorial Guinea, Tomas Mecheba Fern├índez. Mecheba Fern├índez made his comments on the state of the country’s health sector during an interview at the new headquarters of the Ministry of Information, Press and Radio on September 20.

Equatorial Guinea is looking forward to preparing a new generation of health care professionals, and is currently conducting training courses aimed at improving the profession’s capabilities. For instance, groups of medical students have traveled to universities around the world, including those of Cuba, Morocco and China, to advance their medical skills.

As an example of increasing public health efforts, the Minister said that Equatorial Guinea delivers food to the sick in different cities such as Malabo, Bata, Baney, Riaba, Niefang, Kogo, and Mbini, at a cost of more than eight million CFA francs each month. In terms of the current health services offered in Equatorial Guinea, he said that the number of operating clinics is sufficient and there are “two hospitals with highly advanced medical technology.” He added that Equatorial Guinea is carrying out a “vast program of renovation, construction and equipping of the National Health Service.”

Equatorial Guinea has also provided technical assistance to the local United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to improve the effectiveness of its assistance program and has implemented a host of health programs geared toward improving the health of Equatorial Guineans. Basic health indicators such as rates of infant and child mortality have been improving steadily in the country, and the government is widely recognized for its efforts to eradicate malaria.