The 7th Session of the Islamic Conference of Health Ministers (ICHM) was held on 15-17 December 2019 in Abu Dhabi, State of United Arab Emirates. The Conference was organized by the General Secretariat of the OIC and hosted by the Ministry of Health and Prevention of the State of United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ministers responsible for health and prevention from the OIC member countries along with the representatives from the relevant OIC Institutions and international organisations participated in the Conference. SESRIC attended the Conference with a delegation headed by H.E. Mr. Nebil DABUR, Director General.
During the Senior Officials Meeting held on 15 December 2019, the implementations of the resolutions of the 6th ICHM were reviewed and the progress reports on the initiatives under the domain of health were considered and discussed. H.E. Mr. Nebil Dabur presented the Progress report on the OIC Health Portal and briefed the Committee regarding the future steps for the fully operationalization of the portal.
The Ministerial Session of the Conference was inaugurated on 16 December 2019 with the opening statements of the Minister of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Chair of the 6th Session of the ICHM, the Minister of Health and Prevention of the State of United Arab Emirates (UAE), Chair of the 7th Session of the ICHM and the Statement of the Secretary General of the OIC. The opening session continued with the keynote speech of the Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing of UAE, Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi. During her speech, Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi stated the important relation among the life quality, wellbeing and health in respect to mental health, healthy lifestyle and their positive effect on human wellbeing and happiness.
Following the opening statements, the Ministerial Working Session started and the Ministers and Head of Delegations deliberated on a number of crucial issues including promotion of healthy lifestyles, prevention and control of communicable and non-communicable diseases, health emergencies and disasters, mother and child health and nutrition, self-reliance in medicine, vaccine production and medical technologies among others in the field of health domain.
Following the statements by the head of delegations, the Ministerial Working Session continued with the Panel Discussion on “Universal Health Coverage” in which the high level Panellists deliberated on the key issues to achieve universal health coverage in OIC countries.
During the Second day of the Ministerial Working Session, H.E. Mr. Nebil DABUR addressed the Conference to deliver a presentation on the “State of Health in OIC Countries” based on the main findings of the OIC Health Report 2019, the technical backing ground report regularly prepared by SESRIC for the Islamic Conference of Health Ministers.
During his address, he underlined the positive health trends in the OIC countries, as a group. He especially emphasised the decreases in the child and maternal mortality rates, incidence of tuberculosis and prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Despite these positive health trends, he mentioned that the OIC countries, as a group, still tend to lag behind the performance of other country groups on many fronts such as antenatal care, skilled attendance during birth, immunization, and early care seeking for infectious diseases among others.
The 7th Session of the Islamic Conference of Health Ministers was concluded with the adoption of resolutions and the final report. The 8th Session of the Islamic Conference of Health Ministers will take place in 2021 and be hosted by the Republic of Maldives.