David Shumba Herald Reporter
Zimbabwe’S presidency to the World Health Assembly (WHA) will bring immense benefits to the country through alleviating non-communicable diseases and opening up of investment opportunities, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has said.
Dr Parirenyatwa was recently elected the organisation’s president at the 71st World Health Organisation Assembly (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
WHA is the highest decision-making body of WHO.
Speaking soon after arrival at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday, Minister Parirenyatwa said the position was crucial in dealing with non-communicable diseases as well as marketing the country for investment.
“It is a mammoth task, but it will bring a big difference to our continent. It will highlight Zimbabwe specifically, but also the whole African continent.
“We are so happy that this has happened to us at this particular time and we should take advantage of it in terms of investment, in terms of changing the whole value system, in terms of looking at the primary health care.
“It is a chance for Zimbabwe. We hope that we will get more support in terms of investment in non-communicable diseases which are a new menace in the Third world countries not just in the face of developed countries.
“Non-communicable diseases will be key, but we are hoping that Zimbabwe will again take advantage of the world attention on us in terms of health,” Dr Parirenyatwa said.
Minister Parirenyatwa said this year’s WHA meeting was important to the country as it gave Zimbabwe a task to preside over the health ministers of the world.
“It was a very important meeting and a different type of meeting, a different World Health Assembly for the African continent and for Zimbabwe in particular and we really thank the President for allowing us to go and participate.
“The theme for this year was universal health coverage which really means that we are looking at primary healthcare and Zimbabwe now is the President of the World Health Assembly which means that we have to work with the whole world in terms of health matters.”
WHA is held annually in Geneva.