Mauritius to Host 5th Meeting of Ministers of Health of SIDS for Africa Region
The World Health Organisation (WHO) African Region will be held on the 24 to 26 June in Mauritius with main objective of allowing Member States to exchange views and experiences, and monitor achievements made towards the Health Millennium Development Goals.(Image:Composite)
Mauritius will be hosting from 24 to 26 June 2015 the 5th Meeting of Ministers of Health of Small Island Developing States of the World Health Organisation (WHO) African Region which will be held at Le Meridien Hotel in Pointe aux Piments.
The meeting will be attended by 50 local and foreign participants from five member countries namely Cape Verde, Comoros, Mauritius, Sao Tome & Principe and Seychelles.Ministers of Health of the participating countries as well as the WHO Regional Director will also be present.
The main objective of the meeting is to allow Member States to exchange views and experiences, and monitor achievements made towards the Health Millennium Development Goals.
Other objectives include: to measure the progress made in the implementation of declarations and recommendations from the 4th SIDS meeting; to share new developments on common challenges related to health governance and health in all policies, Non-Communicable diseases (NCDs), Human Papillomavirus and financial sustainability of health systems; and to identify new areas of collaboration and ways of strengthening SIDS networking.
The meeting will comprise presentations, discussions in plenary sessions and field visits. The themes to be discussed include overall progress by SIDS on implementation of the recommendations from the 4th SIDS meeting; Universal Health Coverage; Health Governance and Health Policies; Sustainability of health systems in the medium income countries with focus on financial sustainability; Health Security and Information Sharing; strengthening cooperation among SIDS; and Regional experience in introducing Human Papilloma virus vaccine.
Discussions will be held on issues of importance and priority, such as the management of communicable and non-communicable diseases, approaches to substance abuse, and research on community-based intervention strategies.
Health profile of SIDS in Africa region
Chronic NCDs such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes have become the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the SIDS, These conditions represent a major economic burden on the health care delivery system of the SIDS.
The rise in the NCD burden among the population of SIDS is due to the drastic changes observed in individual and community lifestyle related to food consumption patterns, cultural values, beliefs/attitudes and practices, and health seeking behaviours.
Furthermore, climate change-related factors such as sea-level rise, extreme intensity/absence of rainfall or depletion of groundwater can impact on the environment, water and sanitation, waste management and sewage systems thereby modifying the risks for diseases.
Human resource challenges in the health sector include regulation of health professionals, harmonisation of training programmes, high costs of training outside the individual countries and the sub-region, out-migration, lack of human resource plans, and inadequate performance management systems.