Oman takes part in WHO Executive Board 148th session

Oman Monday 18/January/2021 15:49 PM
By: Times News Service
Oman takes part in WHO Executive Board 148th session

Muscat: The Sultanate took part in a virtual meeting of the WHO Executive Board's 148th session. 

A statement issued online by Ministry of Health (MOH) said, "The Sultanate is participating in the virtual meeting of the World Health Organization 148th session of the Executive Board that was commenced today (Monday) with a delegation led by H.E. Dr Ahmed Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health and First Deputy of WHO-EB."

The nine-day 148th session of the Executive Board will focus on main pillars including one billion more people benefitting from universal coverage, one billion more people better protected from health emergencies, one billion more people enjoying better health and well-being, and more effective and efficient WHO providing better support to countries.

The meeting reviews report of the regional committees to the Executive Board and considers the recommendations and comments of the regional committees. In addition, it touches upon the report of the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board as well the reports relevant to the progress achieved in the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and the promotion of mental health.

The meeting highlighted health emergencies including preparedness and response particularly COVID-19 response where updates on activities to combat the pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) were provided. The Board as well noted a report on strengthening WHO’s global emergency preparedness and response.

Moreover, the Board advised countries to continue to intensify activities for containment of polioviruses and ratified a regional strategy to enhance access to medicines and vaccines.

In the opening, His Excellency the health minister participated with an address where he firstly commended the WHO on the elaborate yet streamlined framework structure of the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030, with its seven global strategic objectives, five strategies, six principles, and five milestones. He added that this action plan would no doubt represent a comprehensive reference for member states to develop their national strategies and operational plans towards enhancing patient safety. It is also fully aligned with the Sustainable Developmental Goals and closely mapped with the WHA resolution 62.6.

The Health Minister stressed that global action on patient safety is at the core of many other global health issues and Sustainable Development Goals. It relates not only to people-centeredness, but also to hygiene, expanded access to information and technology, innovation, expanded healthcare coverage, adequate infrastructure, and international cooperation.

Moreover, Al Saidi stated that in the context of COVID-19, patient safety was the focus of Oman’s health emergency preparedness and response, through different initiatives to minimize the risk of transmission. He added that having a wide-reaching network of primary healthcare facilities throughout the country proved to be an advantage in terms of preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as it facilitated more streamlined triage and testing, resulting in lower transmission rates.

H.E. the health minister emphasized in his word that patient safety is a top priority in Oman’s health strategy, since it contributes significantly to the improvement of the overall health of the population, aiming, therefore, to make sure that patients receive highly safe and quality health services at all healthcare facilities in Oman.

Furthermore, the minister pointed out that the Ministry is currently piloting the WHO Patient Safety Friendly Primary Healthcare Framework. In this respect, the Ministry of Health has been awarded several international prizes and awards on quality of health care; and the Ministry has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre on Quality and Patient Safety.

His Excellency stated that significant improvements in patient safety can only be achieved by strengthening health systems in the whole country horizontally and vertically, particularly, by ensuring that Primary Health Care services are more comprehensive and responsive to the needs of people and quality healthcare is made available, accessible and affordable for everyone, everywhere, every time.

The Sultanate’s delegation further included Dr. Saeed Al Lamki, Director General of Primary Healthcare, Dr Saif Al Abri, Director General of Diseases Control and Surveillance, and Dr Jumana Al Abdawani, Director of International Relations and Organizations.