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Healthy Islands – Healthy Pacific

Healthy Islands – Healthy Pacific

APIA, Samoa, 29 June 2013 – Delegates from about 20 Pacific Island countries and territories will gather in Apia this week when the Government of Samoa hosts the Tenth Pacific Health Minsters Meeting from 2 to 4 July 2013. The control of noncommunicable diseases, social determinants of health and human resources for health are just some of the topics Pacific health ministers will discuss.

Developing the healthy islands vision

This meeting is part of a long tradition of Pacific cooperation on health issues. The first Ministerial Conference on Health for the Pacific Island Countries was convened in Fiji in 1995 and resulted in the Yanuca Declaration, advancing the concept of ‘healthy islands’ as the unifying theme for health promotion and health protection.

The healthy islands vision aspires to a place where:

·         children are nurtured in body and mind;

·         environments invite learning and leisure;

·         people work and age with dignity;

·         ecological balance is a source of pride; and

·         the oceans that sustain us are protected.

After the first meeting, eight subsequent biennial meetings of the Ministers of Health for the Pacific Island Countries in the ensuing years have further developed a consensus view of health in the Pacific and identified follow-up actions necessary to build healthy islands.

Addressing Pacific health challenges

The 10th meeting, hosted by the Government of Samoa with secretariat support from the World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), provides an opportunity to continue to move towards the healthy islands vision. More specifically, delegates will discuss the most effective ways to: 

·         scale up responses to the noncommunicable disease crisis affecting the Pacific;

·         ensure the availability of accurate statistics;

·         tackle the challenge of mental health issues;

·         ensure the social determinants of health are addressed;

·         identify effective measure to address outbreaks after a disaster strikes;

·         address neglected tropical diseases such as filiariasis and yaws; and

·         ensure the health workforce is prepared to take on these challenges.

In addition, the ministers will discuss the development of the post-2015 agenda as well as issues of regional governance and the regional architecture for health. The actions agreed by the ministers will be implemented in the coming two years, and reviewed at the 11th Pacific Health Ministers Meeting.

Related links:

Agenda and timetable

http://www.wpro.who.int/southpacific/pic_meeting/2013/documents/en/index.html (in English)

http://www.wpro.who.int/southpacific/pic_meeting/2013/documents/fr/index.html (en Français)

ENDS

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