Government is committed to achieve the goals of 'Health for All' and the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life will have to join forces with stakeholders comprising the private sector, United Nations Agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations and the society for concerted action.
The Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Dr Anwar Husnoo, made this statement yesterday at the launching of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Annual Report 2017 Indian Ocean, at Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, Balaclava, in presence of the UNFPA Country Director for Mauritius, Mr Serge Bounda, and other personalities.
In his address, Minister Husnoo highlighted that the fruitful collaboration between the UNFPA and the Mauritius Institute of Health (MIH) began in late 1970's as a result of an official visit of the then Executive Director of UNFPA, Dr Salas, to Mauritius. He recalled that since 1982, the UNFPA, together with the World Health Organisation, have been funding the MIH to run Fertility Management courses for participants from the Africa, Asia and countries of the Indian Ocean region.
The Minister also pointed out that the UNFPA provided technical and financial assistance for the formulation of a comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy in 2007 and the preparation of a National Sexual and Reproductive Health Action Plan 2009-2015. However, despite positive indicators with regards to its economy, health, education and social development, Mauritius is witnessing a demographic shift with the declining fertility rate and an ageing population, he stated.
Dr Husnoo underscored that with the UNFPA Country Programme Plan of Action 2016-2019 aiming at contributing to national efforts towards mitigating the impact of an ageing population and climate change, the improvement of sexual reproductive health of young people and underserved groups, and the prevention of HIV/AIDS for a better quality of life and a more gender equitable society, the country now enters into a new era of cooperation with the UNFPA.
He observed that a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between MIH and UNFPA, laying the foundation for the Institute to position and transform itself into an upcoming Regional Training and Research Centre in the field of health, as well as to play a predominant role in the area of reproductive health.
For his part, Mr Bounda stated that Mauritius has been chosen for the launching of the 4th UNFPA Annual Report Indian Ocean as the island is an inspiration to the UNFPA. He also gave the assurance that the UNFPA will continue to work in collaboration with Mauritius for it to attain a better quality of life and a more gender equitable society.
The United Nations Population Fund
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the lead United Nations agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. UNFPA reaches millions of women and young people in more than 150 countries and territories, which are home to more than 80 per cent of the world's population.