(Abu Dhabi) – The 7th Session of the Islamic Conference of Health Ministers, ICHM, ended on a high note, with the approval of five key decisions related to priority health issues and main challenges facing Islamic societies.
Hosted by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention, the event witnessed an impressive participation by health ministers and high-level representatives from OIC member states, OIC’s institutions and international organisations. Running from 15th-17th December in Abu Dhabi, the conference was held under the theme ‘Quality of Life’.
The five decisions include a decision to speed up the implementation of the OIC Strategic Health Programme of Action 2014-2023 (OIC-SHPA), in addition to another one on healthy lifestyle, prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, health emergencies and disasters.
The health ministers also endorsed another three decisions on the health and nutrition of mothers and babies, on self-reliance in the provision and production of drugs, vaccines and medical technology, and on strengthening immunization services and addressing frequency in the use of vaccines.
During the conference, the Maldives was announced the host country of the 8th session to be organised in 2021.
The closing session was presided over by Dr. Hussein Abdel-Rahman Al-Rand, Assistant Under-Secretary of Health Centres and Clinics Sector, on behalf of Abdul Rahman bin Muhammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, in the presence of Askar Musinov, Assistant Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, for Science and Technology.
Al-Rand and Musinov thanked all ministers and representatives for their participation and active contribution to the conference, highlighting the necessity to follow up on the approved decisions. They also reaffirmed their support to the implementation of decisions and recommendations came out of ICHM.
OIC member states have lauded the UAE’s National Wellbeing Strategy 2031, which was highlighted by Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing and Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, on the second day of the event.
They also praised the UAE’s efforts being made to combat poverty and treat blindness, which resulted in benefiting over 23 million people in more than 40 countries through Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment.
The members states particularly referred to the efforts exerted by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to eradicate polio in the world, especially in Pakistan and Afghanistan, besides other contributions to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations, GAVI.
Al Rand stressed that the 7th session of the conference has successfully achieved its goals, which are in line with OIC-SHPA, stressing the importance of universal health coverage, disease prevention and control and the polio eradication programmes. He also highlighted the need to develop the health sector and health activities nationally and regionally and to place them at the core of development cooperation and support programs.
“The conference has been held at a very special time here in the UAE. It is when our wise leadership announced next year to be the year of preparations for the next 50 (2020: towards the country 50). This announcement represents a long-term vision that would enable our country to forge the future while standing on a solid ground thanks to its leading development progress, added Al Rand.
He reaffirmed the UAE’s keenness to host and organize regional and international events concerned with health care sector, exchange expertise and knowledge, attract and harness medical technology and utilize artificial intelligence technologies to provide health and preventive services, according to the best international standards, in line with national agenda 2021 and the UAE Centennial 2071.
Concluding the event, the participating delegations expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the UAE leadership under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, for the well-organisation, warm welcome and gracious hospitality. They also lauded MoHAP’s efforts and its great attention paid to all guests and participants, which ensured the resounding success of the conference.