GIS - 03 December, 2015: The imperative to revisit the work of the East, Central and Southern Africa-Health Community (ECSA-HC) to make it more responsive to emerging challenges was highlighted by the Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr Anil Gayan.
The Minister was addressing Senior Officials at the opening of the two-day Health Ministers Session of the 62nd East, Central and Southern Africa-Health Community (ECSA-HC) Health Ministers Conference, being held at InterContinental Mauritius Resort, Balaclava. “Innovation, creativity, rapid responsiveness, novelty, imagination and a dedication to finding African solutions to African problems are the way forward,” thus affirmed Mr Gayan.
The Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Conference, shared with participants his vision for the organisation. “ECSA, said the Minister, “can become an important partner in health related education and in professional development.” He urged them to generate new ideas, new objectives and a new approach to make ECSA an efficient organisation.
According to Mr Gayan, ECSA must become a model in the region that could advise other countries on the best practices in implementing health programmes. He added that ECSA must belong to its Member States who must feel a sense of ownership as no organisation can survive or succeed without the active involvement of its members.
Regarding the theme of the Conference, ‘Transitioning from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’, Mr Gayan is of the view that the SDGs represent a giant leap from the MDGs as they are more ambitious, inclusive and development driven. He recalled that the SDGs which cover a whole range of societal issues will have to be incorporated within each country’s national strategies for health.
The SDGs build on the MDGs which are eight anti-poverty targets that the world at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in September 2000 has committed to achieving by the end of this year. The set of 17 SDGs make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the objectives of ending poverty, fighting inequality and injustice, and tackling climate change by 2030.
The Minister told participants that Mauritius has a fully-functioning and resilient health system to work towards the successful implementation of the SDGs. He also spoke of the implementation by the Mauritian Government of an all-encompassing ‘National Economic Development Blueprint’, covering the period 2015 to 2030, in line with the underlying philosophy of the SDGs.
It is the third time that Mauritius is hosting the ECSA Health Ministers Conference. Previous conferences were held in 1979 and 1997. The resolutions that will come out of the 62nd East, Central and Southern Africa-Health Community (ECSA-HC) Health Ministers Conference will be the basis for implementation of the SDGs in the health sector in the region.
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