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WHO supports Cyprus to promote and provide health, says Dr. Tedros

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    WHO supports Cyprus to promote and provide health, says Dr. Tedros – Awarded Honorary Doctor of the School of Medicine of the University of Nicosia

    The World Health Organization Health (WHO), as with every country, is committed to support the Government of Cyprus in any way it can to promote, provide and protect the health of the island's residents, Dr. Tree Atanom Ghebreges, WHO Director-General, in his speech at the graduation ceremony of the School of Medicine of the University of Nicosia.

    During the ceremony, Dr. Tedros was awarded an Honorary Doctor School.

    The Minister of Health, Michalis Damianos, stated in his own speech that the main objective of his Ministry is to invest in health care promotion and disease prevention programs, to provide equal access to health care provision, to ensure quality in health care, to invest further in research and development, technological developments and continuing medical education.

    In his speech, the head of the WHO, addressing the graduates, said that they are entering a world that faces many challenges. “We need to address common global threats with a common response,” he said, noting that success comes in many forms, but most of all, for those in the health profession, it comes from helping others and making the world a better place.

    He noted that this is his first visit to Cyprus, which, he said, is home to the newest of the 153 WHO offices, namely in Larnaca and opened less than 18 months ago.

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    “As with any country, the WHO is committed to supporting the Government of Cyprus in any way we can to promote, provide and protect the health of the people of this island,” he said.

    He said that, as soon as a few weeks ago, Health Minister Michalis Damianos and health officials from Europe's 11 smallest countries met in Cyprus to commit to working together on a range of common health issues.

    Like many of these countries, noted, Cyprus faces a significant burden of non-communicable diseases, due to the use of tobacco and alcohol, insufficient physical activity and unhealthy diet.

    He added that climate change is also fueling the spread of mosquito-borne infections.

    Furthermore, like many other small countries, Dr. Tedros noted, Cyprus faces challenges in attracting and retaining sufficient number of health and care workers to meet these challenges.

    “But I am impressed to see that Cyprus is doing something about it,” he said, noting that he was surprised to learn that until 14 years ago, Cyprus had no medical school of its own, but now has three.

    “This is very impressive and very encouraging,” he said, adding, “there is no health without health and care workers.”

    Certainly, he continued, artificial intelligence and other technologies offer enormous potential for research and for diagnosis, treatment and service delivery, and one of WHO's priorities is to support countries to harness the power of technology for health.

    < p>But nothing will ever replace a health worker, he noted.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how important they are,” the WHO chief said, adding that globally, however , faces a shortfall of 10 million health and care workers “to meet the health-related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030”.

    He said the WHO is supporting countries to address these gaps.

    Also referring to discussions on a new international agreement to deal with pandemics (Pandemic Agreement), Dr Tedros said the negotiations were “undermined by a deluge of misinformation ”, including “false claims that nations will cede sovereignty to the WHO, which is not true.”

    He asked attendees to speak up for the Pandemic Accord and against misinformation, “because this Accord belongs to you, to all of us. It is to make the world safer for everyone.”

    Closing, he said that the WHO was founded 76 years ago, in 1948, and that its Constitution was the first instrument of international law to affirm that the the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right for all people, without discrimination.

    It is a right for all, and it is for this right that WHO will continue to work, he said.

    < p>In his own speech, the Minister of Health mentioned that Cyprus has proven over the years to be one of the leaders in terms of higher education in the region. The Ministry of Health, he said, promotes and supports training programs in the health sector. “Investments in medical education, research and development activities will strengthen and continuously improve the delivery of healthcare in the country,” he added.

    In the 21st century, health is global, not local, dynamic, not static, with medical knowledge accelerating “at an incredible pace”, Mr Damianou said. To succeed in this competitive environment, the medical profession must evolve, he continued, noting that the world of medicine is a continuous cycle of education, service delivery, skill development and professional engagement.

    Addressing the graduates, Mr. Damianou advised them, among other things, to be realistic but to dream big, to work hard, to be constantly educated, to develop their research skills and to contribute to the change they want to see in the world.< /p>

    “The Ministry of Health is here, by your side, to support you and all stakeholders, the medical community, students, academia, the medical profession, to ensure the continuous improvement of the Health Sector “, he said.

    “Our main goal is to invest in health care promotion and disease prevention programs, to provide equal access to health care delivery, to ensure quality in health care, to further invest in research and development, technological developments and continuous medical education,” he added.

    During the ceremony, the President of the International Thalassemia Federation, Panos Englesos, was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of the School.

    The ceremony ended with the recitation by the graduates of the Hippocratic Oath.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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