| Azlan Othman |
TOPICS including investment in healthcare, education, basic infrastructure, housing and environment, as well as identifying appropriate models for the provision of health coverage were among the resolutions made at a Ministerial Meeting on Universal Health Coverage: The Post 2015 Challenge, which was held in Singapore on February 10-11.
Brunei Darussalam was represented at the meeting by its Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Johan Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Adanan bin Begawan Pehin Siraja Khatib Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Mohd Yusof, who was also a member of the panel at the gathering, which was officiated by Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong. The Minister of Health was accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Health.
Experts from various fields from the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank as well as academicians were also invited, including Secretary General of the WHO, Dr Margaret Chan, who presented a speech.
The meeting also underlined efforts to tackle demographic challenges and to ensure sustainable universal health coverage, which requires a holistic approach that takes into account factors such as climate, culture and the norms of a specific country.
The resolution also highlighted interest in jointly tackling the burden and challenges of Non-Communicable Diseases. Integrated measures and the involvement of all stakeholders such as policy makers, academics, the food and beverage industry, private sector, non-governmental organisations, society as a whole and the individual is needed to strengthen its prevention. This includes strategies to promote and embrace healthy lifestyles.
The importance of establishing policies and programmes to achieve this goal and turning it into a cultural practice requires an understanding of society and the unique characteristics of the population as well as setting up an appropriate legal framework to protect public health.