Muscat: Dr Ahmed Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, participated on Tuesday in the virtual meeting of the Ministerial Working Group on COVID-19 in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
The meeting was moderated from the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean in Cairo to develop a framework that documents the countries’ experiences in combating COVID-19 and the lessons learned from this pandemic.
The meeting was attended by Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director along with ministers of health in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Morocco.
The meeting aimed at reviewing challenges experienced by the countries in their response to the virus and documenting key lessons learned from dealing with this crisis and strengthen their scope of responsibility in a way that contributes to the development of core health capacity in the future with a scientific and objective approach building on the experience.
The Minister of Health highlighted the Sultanate’s unique experience in the significant support provided by the primary healthcare programs that have contributed to the sustainability of the primary healthcare for all community members including the Expanded Program for Immunization, mother and child care program and others.
Moreover, the Minister of Health touched upon the integration between the government and private sectors, which effectively helped to implement the decisions that have been taken to curb the spread of the virus.
Discussions further addressed the impact of COVID-19 on most basic health services such as childhood immunisation, mother health, and chronic and communicable diseases, in addition to embarking on the elaboration of proposals for improving access to that services particularly in countries that experience difficult economic, political, and social conditions.
Such virtual meetings and events enhance solidarity and partnership with the members’ states regionally and globally, therefore, strengthening health systems and security as well as mobilizing resources in particular low-income countries.
Additionally, the significance of these discussions lies in assisting WHO in reaching important decisions in cooperation with its regional office to work better together and revisit joint programs to make them more effective especially regarding the field of an epidemic and communicable disease.