WINDHOEK - The meeting of the SADC Ministers responsible for Health and HIV/AIDS yesterday started on a rather slow note in Windhoek with the gathering of permanent secretaries and senior officials from SADC countries failing to meet the quorum of eleven members.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Services, Ben Nangombe yesterday said that of the 16 SADC member states, 11 confirmed to send their representatives to the meeting that is happening this week.
“To hold a valid meeting of an organisation such as this one, there must be a minimum quorum. The delegations have confirmed that they are coming,” said Nangombe.
He explained that the delay in arrival of the delegates is because of “travel complications” resulting in them not being able to attend the meeting yesterday.
“They couldn’t make it today. The members that are present are going on with the meeting,” added Nangombe.
And, as the delegates are expected to be present in the meetings today, the meetings would still be able to fully adopt the agenda, the Permanent Secretary explained.
Among issues that are on the agenda is the implementation of the regional nutrition work plan and the status of nutrition using the most recent data with a focus on the World Health Assembly targets for improving maternal, infant and child nutrition.
The roadmap is for the development of a regional food fortification monitoring framework and capacity building of member states. Also on the agenda is the emerging and re-emerging of zoonotic diseases, especially the outbreak of Ebola in May 2018 in the Equator province in the northwestern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Malaria, cholera and Hepatitis E would also be discussed, Nangombe added.
The elimination of measles in the SADC region and its occurrence that results in high mobility is also on the agenda to be discussed.
“There is a need for stronger interventions to strengthen public safety,” said Nangombe. He also stressed the importance of cross-border collaborations in fighting diseases.
Other partners in health such as UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund), the World Health Organisation and Elimination 8 are among delegates also attending the meeting.
The SADC ministers of Health and HIV/AIDS will convene on Thursday in Windhoek and Friday they will participate in the commemoration of the SADC Malaria Day in Kayengona village located in the Kavango East Region.
The ministers will interact with the communities there, added Nangombe. Nangombe further explained that Kavango East was chosen on the basis that the Kavango East and West are malaria endemic regions.
“Of all malaria cases, 80 percent come from Kavango East and West, followed by Zambezi and Ohangwena,” commented Nangombe.
2018-11-06 09:14:11 9 months ago