Friday, September 17, 2010

Equatorial Guinea Investing In Healthcare

Voice of America (VOANews.com) reports that Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Health, Francisco Pascual Obama Asue said the government is working closely with the World Health Organization and putting up health infrastructure as well as implementing a host of health programs geared towards improving the health of Equatorial Guineans.

The Minister of Health said “the first investment began in 1996, and since then the government started investing in hospitals and other health centers. In Bata on (the coast), a very modern hospital was built called La Paz and it actually has all the modern technologies and is staffed by Israeli doctors. There also are a number of health centers under construction,” reported Voice of America (VOANews.com).

As reported by Voice of America (VOANews.com), Minister Obama Asue said the government has adopted the recent WHO resolutions as part of the administration’s efforts to improve public health for its people. Equatorial Guinea recently hosted a WHO regional committee meeting in the capital, Malabo.

In addition, the Minister of Health was quoted saying, “the government has been working hard to improve public health for its citizens in projects such as a malaria program, reproductive program with the UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund), cholera and measles vaccination campaigns, social development fund, and new hospitals,” according to Voice of America (VOANews.com) reports.

Voice of America (VOANews.com) reports the WHO resolutions adopted, included: (1) establishing an African Fund for Public Health Emergencies, (2) Addressing major determinants of health., (3) reducing harmful use of alcohol (which calls on member states to develop and strengthen national policies and international evidence to adopt and implement regulations and legislation to create public awareness about the damage from alcohol), (4) using cyber health in the African region, which requires member states to promote political commitment and awareness in this area, and (5) strengthening routine immunization activities for polio eradication in the African region.

Minister Obama Asue said the government has taken measures to curb the abuse of alcoholism among the youth, reports Voice of America (VOANews.com).

“The government has issued a law forbidding the consumption or sale of alcohol to minors that is those under the age of 18 years old. The government has put in place an increase in the tax in the importation of alcohol into the country. And the government is working with the World Health Organization to receive technical assistance to develop and design new policies on the abuse of alcohol and how to prevent it.”