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Opinions & Interviews

20 Oct 2015

Zsuzsanna Jakab: European countries show great interest in WHO Ministerial Conference in Minsk

MINSK, 20 October (BelTA) - European countries have shown a great interest in the WHO Ministerial Conference in Belarus, WHO Regional Director for Europe Zsuzsanna Jakab told media, BelTA has learned.

"There is a huge interest in the conference from all regions of Europe," said Zsuzsanna Jakab. Overall, the participation was confirmed by 13 ministers, 9 deputy ministers, 47 heads of health organizations, 42 World Health Organization staff members, 9 representatives of the UN agencies. All in all, there will be 196 participants.

The reason for such a big interest, according to Zsuzsanna Jakab, is obvious. Firstly, the topic “Life-course Approach in the Context of Health 2020” will be discussed for the first time. So it is very interesting for all. "The second important point is that many countries want to see Belarus and your achievements in the field of healthcare," she said.

For example, Belarus has the CIS lowest quantitative infant mortality indicator. In terms of the pace of its decline Belarus is ahead of such countries as Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Switzerland. By the combined indicator of the infant and maternal mortality Belarus is the 4th best in the world. The country is the leader among the CIS countries in terms of reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS and in terms of the antiretroviral therapy coverage. On the pace of the decline in tuberculosis Belarus is ahead of Finland, Switzerland, Austria, and Norway.

Belarus’ Health Minister Vasily Zharko said, in turn, that the conference will promote international cooperation, and help enhance professional partnership between academic and practical schools of the countries in the European region. "Only the joint effort and investment in health will contribute towards the maintaining and improving of the health of the present and future generations. The adoption of the Minsk Declaration will serve as a guarantor of openness, readiness of our parties to share experience and will be our commitment to joint efforts to improve health at all stages of human life,” he said.

The WHO European Ministerial Conference on the Life-course Approach in the Context of Health 2020 is hosted by the headquarters of the National Olympic Committee in Minsk on 21-22 October. The organization of such an important event in Minsk shows that the WHO has a high opinion of the healthcare system of Belarus. Belarus is a full-fledged member of the WHO. An office of the WHO Regional Office for Europe was opened in the country in 1994. The country fully supports the WHO policy in health protection.

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