THE Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ms Ummy Mwalimu this week attended the SADC joint Ministerial Meeting held in Namibia to deliberate on public health issues aimed at contributing to the attainment of improved quality of life of the people in the region.
The meeting hosted by the Government of Namibia was attended by the Ministers of Health and HIV and AIDS from the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The Joint Ministerial Meeting was also attended by SADC Ministers or their representatives from Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It also drew representatives from International and cooperating partners, United Nations Agencies, and Implementing Agencies, and was preceded by a two-day meeting of Senior Officials from the Health and HIV and AIDS sector.
In his Keynote address, the Minister of Health and Social Services for the Namibia Bernhard Haufiku (MP) warmly welcomed the SADC Ministers of Health and HIV and AIDS to Windhoek, Namibia.
He said the SADC Ministers of Health and those responsible for HIV and AIDS were mandated to oversee the implementation of sectorial policies, strategies and programmes, review progress to identify challenges and map way forward to overcome challenges for the greater good of the people in the region.
The Minster applauded SADC Member States for the progress made towards the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as one of the fundamental pillars to ensure healthy lives and to promote wellbeing for all persons at all ages.
The SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Regional Integration, Dr Thembinkosi Mhlongo said that the meeting was taking place one year before the end of the implementation period of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2015 - 2020 and gave an overview of the Secretariat's implementation of priority programmes in the RISDP and specifically on the interventions in both Health and HIV and AIDS sectors.
Dr Mhlongo said that a number of strategic regional documents have been adopted by the Summit of Heads of State and Government in the last few years such as the Windhoek Declaration on Malaria Elimination which was adopted in August this year, Windhoek Namibia.
The Ministers received reports on the implementation of decisions taken during the last ministerial meeting in November 2017, in Polokwane, South Africa considered a range of regional strategies and guidelines, as they monitor and provide a collective oversight of the implementation of the regional health agenda as guided by the SADC Protocol on Health and the Regional Indicative Development Plan and the SADC Health Policy; and reviewed progress on major Communicable and Non Communicable Diseases.