Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Donates $1.5 Million to Support Global Health

Equatorial Guinea's (Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial) President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo made a donation of USD$1.5 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) to support research for global health. The announcement was made during the opening ceremony of the 60th Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, which is taking place in Malabo.

In his opening remarks, President Obiang welcomed the various delegations participating in the event and expressed his enthusiasm for hosting such an important meeting in Equatorial Guinea.

He announced the donation of USD$1.5 million from the Government and people of Equatorial Guinea to the WHO, as well as the delivery of a headquarters facility for the organization to expand its work in the country. President Obiang explained that funding is to be directed for research undertaken by the organization for health of peoples worldwide.

President Obiang also highlighted the various successful measures the government has taken to fight diseases that afflict Equatorial Guinea, such as onchocerciasis on the island of Bioko. He also mentioned the progress achieved through the malaria eradication program across the country.

The Minister for Health and Social Welfare, Francisco Pascual Obama Asue stated that the health of mothers and children is still the most worrying health issue on the continent and summarized many of the actions taken by the government to boost health outcomes.

The honorary Chairman of the Committee, former President of the Republic of Mali and former President of the African Union, Alpha Oumar Konare, called on Africa to take seriously the reality that African problems can only be solved by Africans and urged African Heads of State to promote human resources training in new technologies across all sectors.

The event concluded with remarks from the Director General of WHO for Africa, Dr. Margaret Chan, where she welcomed the efforts made in Africa to reduce infant mortality and health successes achieved recently, but expressed that more needs to be done to ensure health stability and in the fight against HIV / AIDS. She acknowledged that women and children remain the most vulnerable group for these types of diseases.

The 60th Meeting of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa is taking place at the Parliament of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC), located in Malabo and brings together health ministers from the 46 member states. The five-day meeting is attended by hundreds of participants, including senior WHO officials, representatives of United Nations Agencies, Funds, Programs as well as a number of bilateral, multilateral, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations. The purpose of the meeting is to set policy and approve the budget and programs for the WHO in the region.