Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – On the occasion of World Health Day, OIC Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen called on OIC countries and the international community to accord due attention to the existing and emerging health issues and forge partnerships to ensure the health and wellbeing of all human beings.
April 7 of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day. From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the WHO.
The OIC Secretary-General said that the world we live in is marked by discrepancies where a large number of people lack adequate access to basic amenities such as education and health care.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a wake-up call that has further exposed and exacerbated the inequalities between countries just as it has within different communities. The least developed countries have fragile health systems that are ill-prepared to deal with health emergencies. The majority of people are living in conditions that make them more vulnerable to many avoidable infectious diseases.
Al-Othaimeen emphasized that the world is interconnected and interdependent and calling for the need to invest in health as highlighted in the last OIC Strategic Health Program of Action (OIC-SHPA 2013-2024). He called on the developed countries and other international partners to join hands to provide necessary technical and financial assistance to the least developed countries to strengthen their health systems and other social safety mechanisms for the needy and poor people.
The OIC chief congratulated scientists and researchers for developing the necessary COVID-19 vaccines in record time. He also reaffirmed the OIC’s commitment to working with international partners, especially the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure timely development, production and equitable access to new COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines.