The Honourable Dr Anwar Husnoo, Minister of Health and Quality of Life
Mrs Christine Umutoni, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative
Dr Laurent Musango, Director, World Health Organisation
Mr Ram Prakash Nowbuth, Senior Chief Executive, Ministry of Health and Quality of Life
Members of the press
Ladies and Gentlemen
It gives me great pleasure to be here with you today for the opening of this validation workshop for the National Assessment of Health Systems challenges and opportunities for better Non Communicable diseases outcomes.
The national assessment has been carried out in the framework of the project called Health Systems Strengthening for Universal Health Coverage, a project which is jointly funded by the European Union and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and which is implemented by the World Health Organisation.
The project promotes universal health coverage in 20 African Countries (including Mauritius), international health partnership and assists those countries to do national health policies strategies and plans. It aims at supporting national health policies, strategies and plans to increase universal health care and at improving technical and institutional capacities, knowledge and information for health systems and policy dialogue.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
The European Union and its Member states are determined to promote universal health coverage.
It is a basic human right for everyone to enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, so as to promote human dignity, wellbeing and prosperity. Indeed, this is not just an entitlement to people of any advanced society, as keeping people healthy and active has a positive impact on productivity and competitiveness.
The European Consensus for Development which defines the EU development policy therefore affirms the EU commitment to work with partner countries like Mauritius, in their efforts to build strong and resilient health systems.
Non-communicable diseases (NCD) place a burden on health systems and represent a real threat for the development of advanced economies. It is in this context that we have agreed to address the growing burden of non communicable diseases in partner countries.
This goes in line with the commitment taken by the EU at global level to implement the Sustainable Development Goals, especially the SDG 3 on health, and target 3.4 which focuses on reducing by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases.
Just a few days ago, the European Union announced its support to the new Defeat-NCD Partnership which was officially launched at a side event of the UN General Assembly in New York. This partnership will improve access to essential medicines for Non Communicable Diseases in developing countries.
As said, NCD are of particularly concern for advanced economies, for instance at the level of the European Union, more than 80% of health care costs are spent on the treatment of non communicable diseases. Deaths from non communicable diseases translate into 115 billion euros in potential economic loss every year.
Mauritius, like many Middle Income Countries, suffers from a high prevalence of non-communicable diseases too. Here, I would like to commend the Ministry of Health and Quality of Life for all the good work done so far in preventing and sensitising on the issue of non communicable diseases.
I am very pleased that thanks to the EU support and expertise of the World Health Organisation, Mauritius has now the necessary tools to address the problem of non-communicable diseases.
As you all know, the European Union has a long history of fruitful collaboration with the Republic of Mauritius. We have been intervening in the sugar sector reform, in education, in fighting against climate change, as well as in other areas.
It gives me great pleasure today to add the health sector to the list of sectors in which we collaborate with Mauritius.
This shows the wide span of our partnership with the Republic of Mauritius.
I would also like to congratulate the World Health Organisation for the good work in preparing this national health assessment.
I would also like to convey my sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who have contributed to organising today’s event.
I wish you fruitful deliberations.
Thank you for your attention.