71st World Health Assembly

Brunei Darussalam places health as one of the main strategies in Wawasan Brunei 2035, that can contribute to a high quality of life and support the country’s dynamic and sustainable economy. Although Brunei is facing various challenges due to changes in physical demographics and disease trends, the country is committed in maintaining its universal health coverage achievement by giving focus on issues of quality and safety through consolidating services, health policy and strengthening multi-sectoral cooperation.

Speaking during the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, the Minister of Health shared several main strategies that has been implemented in the country towards upholding universal health coverage. This includes, the strengthening of basic healthcare through the development of health centres and clinics network, implementing health information management system according to info-communication technology development and Brunei Medicine Policy, aimed at ensuring a safe, quality and effective drug supply.

Yang Berhormat also supports the agenda on consolidating basic universal health coverage to be given due attention at the global level. The Minister of Health also reiterated Brunei Darussalam’s full support to WHO in giving full attention and bringing the global community in giving united commitment toward universal health coverage achievement, as well as to ensure accessible health care for all. The 71st World Health Assembly gained the consensus and agreement of member states on various issues of public health and global importance such as public health preparedness and response; eradication of polio and tuberculosis; health, environment and climate change.

The assembly also supported the efforts in tackling the deficiency and access to medicines and vaccines at a global level; physical activities for health; Women, Children and Teen’s Health Global Strategy; as well as prevention and control of non-communicable diseases. Present at the assembly were Health Ministers and representatives from 194 WHO member nations. Themed, “Health For All: Commit to Universal Health Coverage”, the country’s delegation to the assembly was led by the Minister of Health. Also joining the delegation were His Excellency Dato Paduka Haji Awang Mahdi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Digadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Abdul Rahman, the Permanent Representative of Brunei Darussalam to Geneva, Switzerland; and Awang Haji Abdul Manap bin Othman, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health.

Yang Berhormat made a separate courtesy call to His Excellency Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO; and His Excellency Doctor Shin Young Soo, the World Health Organisation (WHO’s) Regional Director for the Western Pacific. Among the matters discussed were Brunei Darussalam’s cooperation with WHO, including technical assistance in various health fields such as tackling non-communicable diseases as well as the country’s preparation in handling public health emergencies. The Minister of Health also held a bilateral talk on cooperation in the field of health with His Excellency Gan Kim Yong, Singapore’s Health Minister and His Excellency Doctor David Clark, New Zealand’s Health Minister.

Source: Radio Television Brunei

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