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‘We are committed to building strong national health systems in LDCs’

- Says Gyan Chandra Acharya

May 31, 2016 By Gabriel Benjamin in Antalya, Turkey

Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya
Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya

On 28th May, 2016 in Antalya, Turkey, the Under Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) told journalists that the UN was committed to building strong health institution in the LDCs.

Speaking during the press conference, Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya said the synergy and coherence in the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (IPoA) in the context of the 2030 Development Agenda, with the participation of Member States, non-governmental organisations, civil society, the private sector and academic institutions, cannot be over emphasised.

According to Mr. Chandara, epidemic outbreak remains one of the main factors that push households from poverty into deprivation and this imposes a large burden on the already weak national health systems of the LDCs. “We at the UN are concern about this and we hope to do everything within our reach to improve the weak health system of LDCs countries,” he told journalists.

Sighting the Ebola outbreak in the Mano River Union, he said: “Ideally, at first we didn’t have any action plan to deal with Ebola when the outbreak was first reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone which are also LDCs,” adding “For the first time, the UN Secretary General came up with a comprehensive support plan and a strategy for all UN agencies including the World Bank, the Africa Union and Development Partners to defeat the virus.”

While responding to a question asked about the preparedness in the UN in an event of a future epidemic, the Under Secretary General said the UN now has a robust action plan in the event of a future outbreak.

“We now have a planning phase, an idea… so in order to make sure when such a pandemic take place we make an early warning, not only early warning but an intervention mechanism that we are currently working on, and I am sure that we be something that will really helped the LDCs because of the likelihood that those things [epidemic] are very high due to the weak national health systems of this countries. However, in the event it happens, we have a robust response team on ground to deal with it,” Mr. Chandra said.

He also noted that the UN hopes that such epidemic would not happen in any of the LDCs countries again.

“The long term policies again are to have the national health system that will be responsive to any epidemic outbreak. But again, the outbreak has taught us a lesson… we hope that such epidemic don’t happen again,” he said.

It should be noted that the Sustainable Development Goal 3 aspires to ensure health and well-being for all, including a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. It also aims to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines for all.

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