MOH News
WHO Director-General Praises the Efforts of King Abdullah and the Saudi People
03 October 2011
    WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan praised the efforts of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, and his generous humanitarian initiatives, which are meant to help the Somali people, in addition to the financial aids presented by people and government of Saudi Arabia for food (50 million dollar) beside medical, health and financial aids that were in cooperation with WHO with the amount of 10 million Dollars. She also praised the financial and food aids from the Saudi people. This was mentioned in her speech at the opening of the new session of WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean, which started its agenda this morning. She added that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and the Saudi people have been generous as always.
WHO Regional Director of the Eastern Mediterranean Region Dr. Hussain Gezairy expressed his thanks and appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for supporting the efforts of the regional office in facing the famine in Somalia with the amount of 10 million dollars, placed at his disposal, considering these efforts as a generous initiative from the Kingdom. 
He also expressed his hope that this initiative can encourage other countries to support the Regional Office of WHO of the Eastern Mediterranean Region with such donations. In addition, he praised the courageous initiative that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has taken to give women their God-given rights, as she is the core of society and the future maker. He indicated that women participation in the consultative process through Majlis Al-Shura is an extremely important step to activate women role in the society.
  Moreover, WHO’s 58th Session of the Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean Region that started its meetings in Cairo on Sunday, headed by the President of the previous session His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, with the participation of 22 health ministers of Eastern Mediterranean Region countries. Dr. Al-Rabeeah clarified in his speech during the opening of this session that the region is having political, economic and health issues and accelerating variables with unjustified loss of human life and dignity, assuring the importance of the role of the Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean Region toward the society in order to protect people’s lives and reduce the manifestations of poverty, illness, murder and violation of the humans dignity and rights.
Moreover, The Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah stated that the challenges, leading to the loss of human dignity and life, witnessed by the region should be faced. “Our role is to preserve all human rights including the right to health” he said.
In addition, His Excellency expressed his thanks and appreciation to the members of the Regional Committee for their efforts and achievements during his presidency of the session. He also expressed his thanks to Dr. Hussain Gezairy for his efforts during his presidency of the Office. ‘May Allah grant us success in electing the new president based on competency and excellence for the sake of this region.” he prayed.
His Excellency concluded his speech by a suggestion of composing an executive committee or organization to study the upcoming topics to be raised and accredited in order to facilitate in order to facilitate adopting decisions, study the topics sufficiently before discussing them, and shorten future meetings as is done in  Health Ministers' Council for Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States, hopping that the members of the Regional Committee of WHO of the Eastern Mediterranean Region would approve the suggestion.
Furthermore, WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan assured that enormous progress has been achieved all over the world in health fields, indicating that the death rate of mothers and kids has decreased to the minimum levels since decades, and the tuberculosis which was a health threat is currently decreasing.
She added that there is a decrease in the rates of malaria cases and the death rate associated with malaria by more than 50% of what it used to be. In addition, there are 7 million people living in low and middle income countries with better life due to getting the needed treatment of viral diseases.
On the other hand, Dr. Chan indicated that economic downturn is getting deeper. “Food security became a very important issue and the infectious diseases became a huge economic and health threat in a globally connected world due to the availability of fast international transport and other direct and immediate communication means". she said.
WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan added, "Nevertheless, non-infectious diseases were the most expensive to treat. She indicated that there is a study conducted by experts showed that the cost of treating cancer in the developed countries is not affordable, where the cost of treating diabetes takes 15% from the total budget allocated to health. 
  Furthermore, she indicated that the features of Middle East are changing. “Protests that started in the beginning of this year have attracted the attention of the whole world via social communication networks. People rose up, democratic reform and basic human rights, including the right to health". She indicated that the Arab Human Development Report issued by the United Nations showed that Arabs are suffering from three major issues which are lack of freedom, lack of knowledge, lack of the empowerment of Arab women.
    It is noteworthy that this session will include an election of a new president of the WHO’s Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean Region. The four-day session will discuss many health issues, including topics and problems which concern the Eastern Mediterranean Region States.
The session will be attended by delegations from all over the Eastern Mediterranean region, in addition to experts and specialists from the WHO and its affiliates. 
 



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