21 June 2024 12:22 PM

The 3rd International Conference of Arab Public Health Association (ArPHA)

Monday، 13 March 2023 - 12:00 AM

Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel Ghaffar witnessed on Sunday the opening of the 3rd International Conference of Arab Public Health Association (ArPHA), which is held on the 12th and 13th of March 2023 in Cairo under the slogan “Transformation of the Health Sector after Covid-19…Public Health Challenges and Opportunities”. 

During his speech, the Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel Ghaffar welcomed the delegations participating in the conference, appreciating the efforts of Salman Rawaf, the President of the Arab Society for Public Health and President of the Conference, to organize this important event, which includes a group of experts in the field of public health, a number of former health ministers in Arab countries, and representatives of international health organizations.

The minister pointed out that the Coronavirus pandemic showed the need to pay attention to public health, take care of ways to combat diseases and epidemics, and improve the healthy life of citizens, adding that the pandemic contributed to creating flexible health systems that are able to adapt and confront any epidemics or health challenges.

Abdel Ghaffar said that the minister reviewed the Egyptian experience in improving public health indicators for citizens, through a package of presidential initiatives that began in 2018 under the slogan “100 million health” and includes 12 presidential initiatives that were launched based on a national survey of various diseases related to public health.

He added that after three years of the Coronavirus pandemic, the presidential initiatives were a key factor in overcoming the Coronavirus pandemic, which was praised by a number of international organizations.

Moreover, the Health Minister stressed the need to pay attention to primary health care services provided to citizens, which is an important part of supporting public health, referring to the initiative of the president of the republic to develop primary care units, which target 5,400 units and medical centres, noting the start with 251 units, and from the implementation of the initiative is expected to be completed in 1,000 units by the end of 2023.

Recommendations of the 3rd International Conference of the Arab Society for Public Health in Cairo

The 3rd International Conference of Arab Public Health Association (ArPHA), which concluded its work in Cairo, came out with 25 recommendations that topped the Cairo Declaration of “Public Health.”

The participants in the conference unanimously agreed that public health is the core of sustainable development plans and lies within the framework of the National Vision 2030, and therefore the enhancing public health systems, laws and programs is essential to achieving the SDGs.

Professor Tawfiq Ahmed Khoja, Vice President of the Arab Public Health Association (ArPHA) and Vice President of the Conference, pointed out that through the panel discussions, the following recommendations were adopted:

1. Giving thanks and abundant gratitude to His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt - may God support him - and to his wise government represented by the Egyptian Ministry of Health, headed by His Excellency the Minister of Health and Population, Prof. Dr. Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, for sponsoring the holding of the World Arab Conference on Public Health.

2- Submitting, to the League of Arab States and the World Health Organization for the Eastern Mediterranean, the proposal of forming a high-level committee (the Arab Higher Committee for Public Health), whose tasks would include preparing a road map to achieve the dimensions and goals of health in all policies and comprehensive health coverage for all citizens and residents, including proposing legislation, regulations, and laws, and formulating the necessary strategies.

3- Strengthening communication networks between those agencies to exchange experiences, establish national houses of expertise in areas related to public health, and achieve goals of health in all policies and comprehensive health coverage.

4- Focusing on work priorities in the following public health dimensions: Improving systems efficiency, applying concepts of quality and patient safety, improving quality control, fair access to quality health services, rational use of resources, and providing qualified human cadres.

5- Requesting Arab ministries of health and specialized agencies to conduct comprehensive and accurate reviews of public health in order to identify the points of strength and weakness, as well as the challenges and opportunities available to achieve health goals in all policies and comprehensive health coverage.

6- The importance of the related public health authorities to conduct periodic social health surveys to find out the practices of individuals, families and society with regard to public health axes in order to establish health strategies, systems and programs based on certain data.

7- The importance of promoting of public health culture in all health facilities and sectors, as well as the relevant government institutions and the private sector related to the axes of sustainable development, in a more efficient and effective manner.

8- Enhancing the essential role played by health care and its four dimensions in achieving equitable access to health services for all segments of society.

9- Work on building primary health care capacities in terms of preparedness and response to emergencies and health crises within the comprehensive and integrated health system.

10- Activating the role of national community partnership between all sectors, including the public and private sectors, segments of society and state institutions, by emphasizing the pioneering role of public health in sustainable social development and achieving comprehensive and integrated health care for healthy and sick alike.

11- Raising the readiness of the health sector and medical facilities to face health crises such as the spread of diseases, epidemics, crises and emergencies in general, and in particular the role of public health.

12- Implementing health programs aimed at educating the public to improve the health and nutritional status of schools and university students to focus on improving dietary habits and diet quality and quantity.

13- Focusing on youth creativity and placing youth with decision makers at one table and creating a positive attitude for adolescents and their parents regarding the healthy orientation of life through cooperation between higher education and the Ministry of Health.

14- Enhancing membership in the Arab Society for Public Health from all age groups, especially youth and adolescents, to disseminate the culture of public health and its role in protecting the health of individuals, families and communities within sustainable resilient health systems.

15- Urging university educational institutions and the Commission for Arab Health Specialties to train and qualify health leaders at various levels at the central and peripheral levels in areas related to public health, and to update education curricula and decisions to keep pace with development in areas related to public health in general.

16- Paying more attention to training and qualifying all health workers in all health and educational sectors on the concept of public health and including it within the educational curricula at all levels and specializations, as well as the medical professional licensing exams for those who apply for work or renew their license.

17- Confirming the role of health leaders in making courageous political decisions to activate, facilitate, monitor and evaluate the health strategy and build national capacities through training and conducting solid research related to the health strategy in all policies.

18- Emphasizing the role of health leaders in promoting pioneering health leadership by selecting the most suitable health leaders with leadership traits, who have scientific and practical experience, as well as farsightedness in implementing the public health strategy.

19- Conducting qualitative research dealing with systems, policies, programs and activities related to strengthening public health in addition to allocating needed resources, and involving civil society organizations as well as all relevant parties in the early stages of this research, in which non-governmental organizations can play an effective role in facilitating communication and strengthening relationships between researchers and decision makers.

20- Enhancing the role of the private sector in achieving the goals of comprehensive health coverage through effective empowerment of the private sector in all health programs and activities, including health promotion, protection and public health.

21- Searching for innovative and creative ways, including information technology and social media, to support and enhance the role of service beneficiaries, raise health and knowledge awareness, exchange best practices to improve communication skills with the beneficiary of health and public health services, and the participation of all members of society as an effective element in developing performance, quality and outputs Health system and public health promotion.

22- Accelerating the issuance of the national public health law, provided that the rights and duties are a participatory process that includes the beneficiary of the service and his family, and all segments of society and various state institutions, including the media and health workers, and it is inclusive of the healthy and the sick.

23- Emphasizing the importance of digital health in the era of digitization and as an important axis for developing health systems, public health dimensions and combating epidemic diseases.

24- Asking the Arab countries to raise the percentage of National Health Expenditures (NHE).

25- Disseminating the One Health approach, which is an integrated, unifying approach to balance and optimize the health of people, animals and the environment, and encouraging the cooperation of various sectors to achieve it and work on reducing emissions from health facilities and veterinary farms, building sustainable farms, raising awareness and promoting environment-friendly behaviours among members of society and workers in the health sector.

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