Health strategy launched to act as a reference guide

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pretoria - The Department of Health and its partners have launched the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Country Cooperation Strategy for South Africa to help guide the country on how to address its changing health needs.

"The strategy will serve as a reference document for planning, budgeting and resource allocation. It will ensure that the activities of the WHO in our country are aligned with government priorities and our 10 Point Plan and programme of Action," Deputy Health Minister Molefi Sefularo said on Thursday.

He said the department would further benefit from the technical and advisory assistance provided by the WHO.

The WHO strategy will focus on five priority areas which include strengthening health policies and systems and to minimise inequalities in access for the poor and vulnerable.

Reducing infant, child and mental morbidity and mortality and promoting responsible and healthy sexual and reproductive health behaviour will also form part of the strategy. It will also focus on combating HVI and AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

Preventing and reducing disease, disability and premature death from chronic non-communicable conditions, accidents, violence and injuries will also be part of the strategy.

It will also strengthen surveillance systems to promote prevention of communicable and non-communicable diseases and their impact on health of the poor and vulnerable.

Sefularo said the document will further enable government to better plan out interventions and address the challenges of the past.

WHO representative in South Africa, Stella Anyangwe, said the strategy also provides an opportunity for the WHO Country Office to harmonise its planning cycle with that of government; development partners and other UN agencies in the spirit of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.