Seychelles has made immense progress in improving the health of its population, the regional director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said after meeting with President Danny Faure on Tuesday.
Matshidiso Moeti said, “In light that the population has access to health care without payment, including international transfers for treatment not available locally, shows that a lot of achievements has been made in the health care system.”
Moeti met with President Faure at State House prior to the opening of the 6thmeeting of African Ministers of Health of small island developing stateshosted by Seychelles.
The WHO regional director added that “in areas like child health, the country made excellent progress in reducing maternal death. Not a single mother died during childbirth last year.”
She said that despite the achievements, there are many issues the country has to deal with, mainly non-communicable diseases like hypertension, diabetes, and heart attack and some of the lung-related diseases.
In her meeting with the president, Moeti also spoke on the importance of prevention and greater emphasis on preventative interventions, such as raising awareness on the adoption of healthier lifestyles that would, in turn, reduce the prevalence of certain chronic diseases.
Also attending the meeting was the Seychelles’ Minister of Health, Jean-Paul Adam, who said that the meeting was an extension of the president’s emphasis at the United Nations General Assembly.
“The president put a lot of emphasis on the importance of defending the specificity of the small islands developing states at the recent United Nations meeting,” said Adam.
On the meeting of African Ministers of Health of small island developing states, Adam said that some of the areas for discussion are the widespread addiction to illegal drugs, the management of childhood obesity and health disaster management.
As part of the programme, there will be a panel discussion on laws, policies and strategies to try and eliminate the epidemic of HIV/AIDS in the small island developing states on Thursday.
The meeting which will end on Friday is expected to come up with a specific plan of action which will be undertaken jointly by the small island developing states in the next two years.