WHO - EMRO and IPEMED : same assessment on the health status of Mediterranean countries

Published : Monday 25 June 2012
Macarena Nuño
WHO Regional office for the Eastern Mediterranean (WHO - EMRO), which comprises 22 Member states[1] and the occupied Palestinian territory, has just published a report on the future of health in this region and on the role that WHO will have to play in 2012 - 2016.

The report clearly presents the sanitary situation of the region (socioeconomic development, evolution of the demographic and epidemiological transitions, increasing life expectancy, increasing of noncommunicable diseases which become the main cause of death, in particular cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer) as well as the main challenges which these countries face, among which:

- The fight against inequities in health ( major stake);
- The implementation of clear visions and strategies in the field of public health;
- The development of equitable financing strategies and universal health coverage (worrisome out-of-pocket payments by users);
- A better regulation of the private sector so that it becomes a partner, a support, of the public sector;
- The need of a long-term vision for the strategic planning of health workers;
-  The development of global information systems which can allow the use of health information to elaborate and evaluate health policies.

To do so, a strong political will and commitment are asked from governments as well as:
- strengthening of health systems;
- enhancing capacity for prevention of communicable diseases;
- scaling up actions to promote health and prevent noncommunicable diseases;
- developing health in all policies and intersectoral approaches (health determinants) in the field of public health.

This assessment is shared by the experts of IPEMED’s health workgroup who reflected on the status of health systems in the Maghreb. The axes of evolution and the possible action presented in the expert’s report joined, as well, WHO’s proposals.

[1] Afghanistan, Bahrain, Djibouti, UAE, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Somalia, Soudan, South Soudan, Tunisia, Yemen.
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