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Kuwait health minister extols GCC’s medical achievements 76th conference of health ministers

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 8, (KUNA): Minister of Health Ali Al- Obaidi said on Tuesday the GCC’s health accomplishments show the ability to meet challenges facing Gulf health systems. In a keynote speech during the 76th conference of the GCC Council of Health Ministers, the minister said such challenges require continuing coordination, joint action and exchange of experience for developing clear-cut Gulf health programs and strategies.

He stressed the significance of the health sector as a main component and significant index of development programs, a thing which the GCC seeks to reaffirm through the post-2015 UN Development Goals being finally formulated by concerned international organizations.

The conference focuses on concerted action by the GCC member states to combat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases. The minister described NCDs as key challenges facing development plans and programs due to relevant reflections on health systems and exhaustion of resources and potential. However, he maintained that the GCC member states’ health systems are efficient enough to fight NCDs in collaboration with state authorities, the private sector and civil society. The minister cited international reports as highly commending the GCC member states’ health developments like low maternal and child mortality rates, vaccination and high life expectancy rates.

On his part, GCC Secretary General Abdulateef Al- Zayani appreciated the efforts of the GCC health ministers to improve and develop medical services in the member states and Yemen. He hailed the formation of national health committees and medical development blueprints in the GCC countries as an unequivocal sign of great efforts by the health ministries to curb NCDs. Bahraini Health Minister Sadeq Al-Shahabi hailed the executive bureau of the GCC Council of Health Ministers for its great health efforts that resulted in the winning of three world awards in 2013. “The obtainment of such awards in just one year is a big achievement and crowns efforts exerted over the last years,” he said. The last session of the council witnessed the launching of a medicine quotation committee that held seven relevant meetings.

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