23 November 2012

Angola: Health Minister Urges Africans to Eradicate Polio

Photo: Edward Parsons/IRIN
Mass immunisation campaigns try to keep polio at bay.

Luanda — Angolan minister of Health, José Van-Dúnem, Friday in Luanda requested all member states to be vigilant and active to ensure the eradication of polio in Africa.

The minister was delivering a closing speech at the 62nd session of the WHO/Afro.

He recalled that despite progress, Africa is the continent that records the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS, the greatest burden of tuberculosis, malaria, neglected diseases and non-communicable diseases.

José Van-Dúnem said that despite the global financial crisis affecting donors, it is up to the Health ministers of the region to promote the mobilisation of national and international resources to achieve progressively the commitment of 15 percent of the state budget for health assumed in Abuja in 2005.

He added that "the plans and strategies we advocate can only have success with a sustainable investment, particularly taking into account the additional costs induced by the increase of non-communicable diseases."

In his turn, the regional director of WHO/Afro, Luís Gomes Sambo, in a brief assessment of the topics discussed, stressed that the strategies adopted will serve as a platform for the region based governments to tackle the health problems of population.

He urged for greater involvement of governments in providing health budgets due to the huge challenges in the African countries.

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