PRESS STATEMENT MINISTER OF HEALTH MALAYSIA
MALAYSIA CHAIRS THE 67TH SESSION OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION REGIONAL COMMITTEE FOR THE WESTERN PACIFIC ON 11th OCTOBER 2016

Today, at the sixty-seventh session of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for the Western Pacific, I gave the Chairman’s address after I was elected as the Incoming Chairperson for this year’s Regional Committee Meeting in Manila, Philippines. This is indeed a great honour for Malaysia as we take the centre stage in this global platform, which is a recognition to the vast contributions made by Malaysia to both regional and global health.

Dr Margaret Chan in her final opening speech at the WHO Regional Committee Meeting for Western Pacific Region as the Director-General of WHO, had praised the Malaysian Government for appointing a Health Minister who truly understands Health. I was again very honoured by this very positive remark, coming from the credible and experienced Director-General of WHO herself. Dr Margaret Chan had also congratulated and applauded Malaysia on our excellent efforts to combat Dengue, and has called for other nations in the region to emulate Malaysia, in mobilising communities to assist in Dengue control.

However, as I reiterated to the delegates, we are still far from winning in our attempts to combat this deadly virus. In 2015, more than 450,000 cases of dengue were reported with more than 1,000 deaths in the Region. These staggering figures represent the tip of the iceberg. Not discounting our achievements in many areas of health, we have yet managed to contain one of our biggest health threats in this region - which is paradoxically, the small mosquitoes. Yet, the same vector, the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are troubling the Region with the spread of Zika virus.

Therefore, today at this regional committee meeting, Malaysia endorsed the WHO Regional Action Plan for Dengue in the Western Pacific (2016) and urges for more collaborative efforts towards new, innovative, and sustainable tools in preventing dengue. This is crucial, as it will give us an opportunity to consider more effective VECTOR control that also applies to the other arboviruses like Zika and Chikungunya. On the other hand, the elimination of Malaria is within reach for the Western Pacific Region as since 2000, Malaria-related deaths have declined by over 90% in this region. This is promising as we aim for Malaria elimination by 2030.

Apart from issues related to Communicable Diseases such as Dengue, Zika, Malaria and HIV, many other regional health governance issues will be discussed at this high level Regional Meeting. All are very pertinent issues, which are very closely related to the situation in Malaysia, including the Asia Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases; Environmental Health issues such as Haze; the Sustainable Development Goals and Antimicrobial Resistance.

It is the Ministry of Health Malaysia’s vision that Malaysia will continue to lead these initiatives at this regional and global health platform. We want to create a global platform where the work and achievements of the Ministry of Health can be shared with the global community for mutual benefits.

Thank you.

YB DATUK SERI DR. S. SUBRAMANIAM
MINISTER OF HEALTH MALAYSIA
11TH OCTOBER 2016

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Kemaskini Terakhir:Khamis 03 November 2016, 22:26:49.