Friday, January 25, 2013

Ministers Convene in Malabo to Discuss Public Health Issues

Delegates meet for Fourth Ordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of Health

Health ministers from ten African countries met Thursday, January 24, 2013 in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to discuss a number of public health issues within the region.

Members of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) prepared the agenda during the 4th Ordinary Session of the Ministers of Health Council, which began January 21, 2013. Overall, the meeting was held to enhance regional integration among the member countries and promote public health development throughout Central Africa.

Specifically, the meeting addressed issues such as diseases, vaccinations and prevention campaigns against AIDS and malaria.

“These are the challenges and priorities of the subregion,” said Tom├ís Mecheba, Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare while addressing the council. “We should start a common approach to the AIDS problem, while remembering to take into account the problems of malaria, which is a source of concern for our countries.”

Following Mecheba, Equatorial Guinea’s Vice President of the Republic, Head of Presidential Affairs, Ignacio Milam Tang, spoke on behalf of President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, stating that the government hoped for strong collaboration on public health strategies.

In addition, he mentioned the government’s recent investment in major health projects in Equatorial Guinea. Earlier this year, the government provided technical assistance to the local United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and began improved local training courses for future health care professionals. 
Equatorial Guinea’s effort to improve the public health sector was officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its 2012 report, which showed that Equatorial Guinea was leading Africa in per capita investments in health care.