Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohammed Al Kuwari affirmed on Wednesday in Qatar’s speech to the World Health Assembly held in Geneva that, under the wise leadership of the Amir His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the State of Qatar successfully faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and had one of the lowest mortality rates while keeping economic activities insulated from the effects of the pandemic.
Her Excellency stressed the State of Qatar’s strong commitment to supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) in performing its mission of promoting health and wellness for all people.
The Minister of Public Health thanked the (WHO) and the member states of the Eastern Mediterranean region for choosing the State of Qatar to represent the region on the executive board of the (WHO).
“On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the founding of the (WHO), we are celebrating 75 years of achievements and milestones in the field of public health and advances in key disciplines such as the eradication of smallpox, the development of vaccines and the promotion of public health initiatives globally. We also celebrate our gathering, our solidarity, our consensus and the strategic role we all play through WHO in managing global health,” she said.
Her Excellency added, “We are also celebrating the end of the COVID-19 pandemic as a public health emergency that has raised global concern, recognising that we have all passed a very difficult period where the global health community has had to face unprecedented challenges with the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, which placed enormous burdens on populations and health systems around the world.”
Her Excellency expressed her appreciation and gratitude to all healthcare and public health workers, at the WHO and all partner institutions for their dedication and great services, especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Qatar National Vision 2030’s focus on health and well-being has led to significant investments in health. All of Qatar’s municipalities have been awarded the title of Healthy Cities in addition to Qatar Foundation’s Education City and Qatar University, making Qatar the first country in the world to receive such a title,” Her Excellency pointed out.
Her Excellency stated, “We are investing in healthcare workforce development specialities networks and protecting the healthcare professionals. We are committed to contributing from our side to the Sustainable Development Goals such as ending Tuberculosis by 2030, eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and hepatitis, combating antimicrobial resistance, and expanding on multi-sectoral collaboration as well as bringing additional innovative approaches and technologies to healthcare.”
She noted that Qatar delivered during the pandemic a healthy, safe and successful FIFA World Cup tournament with no smoking and no alcohol in its stadiums and that the country strengthened preparedness and response and organised health services in such a way as to accommodate all visitors and players needs and ensures access to services to all of the population. She stressed that Qatar is committed to enhancing the role of the health sector in climate action, taking stock and moving forward as a positively engaged sector.
“We are implementing a Sport for Health project at a national and global level with WHO to promote healthy lifestyles, enhance physical activity, healthy nutrition, and access to mental health services. Building a legacy of knowledge and learning for safe and healthy mass sports gatherings with best practices and innovations will be part of the projects’ objectives to benefit other countries that are planning to host similar events in the future,” HE Dr Hanan Al Kuwari added.
She pointed out that Qatar hosted the 5th meeting of the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) in March and HH the Amir has committed $60 million in funding for the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action, which is a ten-year plan to tap into the potential of the LDCs by implementing renewed and strengthened commitments between the LDCs and their development partners, including the private sector, civil society, and governments at all levels.
She said “We all want a strong WHO as we embark on the post-pandemic phase, enhancing our cooperation and solidarity for a better-prepared world especially as we assess the impact of crises, whether they be natural disasters or wars and conflicts threatening health gains and progress everywhere. We are working against the clock on many of our commitments to Sustainable Development Goals and to future generations, especially as we face the havoc created by conflict and violence in many parts of the world. For the health and well-being of all, we need to work together toward universal health access and peace.”
The meeting agenda of the 76th session of the World Health Assembly continues in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 21 to 30. The key theme of this year’s meetings is “75 years of improving public health”. The Assembly will discuss several key topics and themes under WHO’s four pillars: One billion more people benefiting from universal health coverage, one billion more people better protected from health emergencies, one billion more people enjoying better health and well-being and more effective and efficient WHO providing better support to countries.