A meeting to review the joint country cooperation strategy between the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) was held at Kempinski Hotel Muscat on Thursday.
Dr Sultan bin Yarub al Busaidy, MoH Adviser for Health Affairs, chaired the meeting which was also attended by Dr Akjemal Magtymova, WHO Representative to the Sultanate.
The MoH Adviser along with the WHO Representative to the Sultanate signed the 2020-2021 biennial programme for the WHO and MoH cooperation.
The WHO cooperation is prioritised to support national policies, strategies and plans and aligned along with the WHO’s Triple Billion Target of “promoting health, keeping the world safe, and serving the vulnerable” as articulated in WHO’s Thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13). The key focus of the GPW13 is a measurable impact for people at the country level, aiming at improved quality of lives and protected health of people.
Dr Ahmed al Qasmi, MoH Director General of Planning & Studies, praised the WHO’s role relating to the health achievements in the Sultanate. He stressed the importance of the next phase in developing the work priorities for the health system based on the Oman Vision 2040, as well as the Health Vision, the sustainable development goals and the regional and international strategies.
Dr Akjemal said that Oman is increasingly recognised as an attractive hub for the international and global health forums not only due to its hospitality and neutral platform, but also its capacity to showcase best practices. She also added, “WHO and Oman Ministry of Health enjoy equal partnership. Oman is witnessed to step up its role in global health agenda, health diplomacy and regional health development, serving as a model health system that can be shared with other countries. The country also offers training and technical support in the areas of public health laboratories, vaccine cold chain, emergency management as well as other opportunities for technical exchange and fellowship support”.
The technical session, which chaired by Dr Sultan al Busaidy, discussed the findings of the mid-term review and the proposed four-pronged WHO-MoH country cooperation strategy aligned with national targets, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the WHO’s GPW13 and the Health for All by All vision for the Eastern Mediterranean Region.
The past years of joint collaboration have been underscored by the achievements in disease elimination (measles and rubella declared eliminated in Oman in 2019), establishment of the WHO Collaborating Center on Patient Safety Training, strengthening Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and NCDs risk factors surveillance, among others.
Primary Health Care and Health for All have been a blueprint for Oman’s achievements in public health, making it a country with a ‘near-universal’ health coverage. In the coming years, WHO will continue partnering with Oman Ministry of Health, other sectors and stakeholders towards strengthening the role of Primary Health Care towards achieving Universal Health Coverage.
Officially joining since 1970, Oman is a member of WHO.
WHO’s current technical cooperation is responding to Oman’s national drive to address the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, anchoring the improvements of health over the life course, accompanying the country’s efforts in strengthening the health system to ensure universal health coverage and assisting in strengthening the country’s institutional capacity for emergency preparedness, surveillance and effective response to disease outbreaks.