11 Southeastern Asian health ministers to meet in Timor-Leste

New Delhi, Sep 1 (IANS) Health ministers of 11 countries including India will hold meetings from September 7 to 11 to set health priorities and discuss health agenda for the southeast Asian region, the WHO said on Tuesday.

The 68th session of WHO’s South-East Asia regional committee meeting comes close on the heels of earthquakes in Nepal and the spread of MERS Coronavirus and will take place in Dili, Timor-Leste, WHO said.

WHO South-East Asia Regional Director, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO experts and senior officials from health ministries of member countries will also be present at the conference.

“Strengthening response to emergencies and outbreaks, building capacities, accelerating efforts to protect people against tobacco, advocating for health in the post-2015 global sustainable development goals, and expanding effective services with stronger health workforce will be the key areas for discussion,” the statement said.

The regional committee — highest policy making body of WHO in the region — will also deliberate on anti-microbial resistance, an issue which needs urgent attention and action.

“Eliminating neglected tropical diseases like kala-azar, leprosy, yaws, filariasis and schistosomiasis; adapting and implementing the End TB strategy; the way forward for preventing and controlling cancer; and sustainable universal health coverage will be other areas of focus at the meeting,” it said.

The status of measles elimination and control of rubella in the region by 2020, polio eradication initiatives, effective management of medicines and health information systems, will also be discussed in the meeting.

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