MOH News

HE Minister of Health Elected President of Executive Board of Arab Ministers' Health Council
17 May 2011
In a move that illustrates the leading role played by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in international forums, His Excellency the Minister of Health of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rabeeah, has been unanimously elected to serve as the president of the Executive Board of Arab Ministers' Health Council. The election took place during a meeting of the Arab Health Ministers to coordinate the Arab position before the General Assembly of the World Health Organization in Geneva. The 36th session of the Arab Health Minister’s Council started yesterday and will last until the 24th of May.

The Executive Board of Arab Ministers' Health Council was created in 1975, and was the first specialized ministerial council to be established within the League of Arab States.  Arab leaders believe that it’s necessary to unify regional efforts to provide better health services for all Arab citizens.  Since then, numerous other regional ministerial councils have been established to focus on such areas as social affairs, youth, housing, transportation, interior and justice.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, represented by the Ministry of Health, is participating in the 64th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) Conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The delegation from the Kingdom is led by Executive Affairs Deputy Minister, Dr. Mansour Naser Al Howasi. The delegation also includes Assistant Deputy Minister of Health for Preventive Medicine, Dr. Ziad Memish, General Supervisor of the General Department of International Relations, Dr. Afaf Al Shammari, Infectious Disease Consultant at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Dr. Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al Rabeeah and Infectious Disease Consultant at Armed Forces Hospital, Dr. Mushira Abdul Aziz Al Anani.

The 64th session of the World Health Assembly (WHA) Conference is discussing all topics on the, including issues related to the budget and administrative management of the World Health Organization.  Also scheduled for discussion are WHO’s future financing, combating pandemic influenza, seeking to achieve the millennium developmental goals, promoting health systems, and eradicating smallpox.  Also addressed will be methods for controlling and preventing cholera, malaria and non-communicable diseases.

During their coordination meeting yesterday, Arab Health Ministers approved several resolutions to be put to a vote in the World Health Assembly.  One resolution involves the state of healthcare conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories; another condemns Israeli blockage of proper medical care to the territories.  Also included is a resolution about the state of healthcare in Libya and in Northern and Southern Sudan.

The stated objectives of the Arab Ministers' Health Council include: developing Arab cooperation in health affairs to achieve better overall public health, unifying available services, and establishing cooperation and healthcare system integration between Arab nations.  The Council will also study healthcare challenges in the Arab world and work to develop appropriate solutions and provide urgent assistance to member states in the fields of emergency medicine and wartime medical care.  

The Council also aims to develop a unified plan for cooperation in constantly monitoring and controlling epidemic diseases.  Each Member State will notify other Member States about the first reported infection. The system includes the carrying out of medical research on ways to control and eradicate endemic diseases in the Arab world. The Council will also promote scientific studies and meetings to raise public awareness about health issues, and will develop educational programs targeting different demographic groups. 
The Council will also exchange knowledge and personnel in all fields of health training and education, and unite the Arab world’s position on healthcare in the international arena.  It will uniformly address various international organizations and bodies to work towards solving health problems, in Arab countries in particular. The Council also aims to unify healthcare legislation, Arabic medical terminology and regional medical and health education systems.

Last Update : 18 May 2011 09:01 AM
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