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Afghanistan Hosting A UN Funded Regional Health Conference

A senior official of Public Health Ministry of Afghanistan said on Sunday, that they are hosting a four-day regional health conference. // The conference, called "Health for All and Health by All", is being conducted in Kabul from today. It is the first such conference being held in Afghanistan over the past four years. Delegates from nine countries are attending the conference, and are meeting to discuss the need for mutual cooperation to curb the spread of communicable diseases in the region," Mohammad Din Miraj told reporters.

The official said, that delegates from Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan arrived to attend the conference being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Afghanistan, which has been battered by war is largely dependent on international assistance, and is hopeful to secure regional cooperation in tackling different kind of diseases such as avian influenza, cholera, polio and tuberculoses.

Hamid Karzai the Afghan President is also expected to address the group in the threat of contagious diseases to the region's economic growth and emphasize the benefit of collective action in checking it. Health ministers of the participating countries would ink an agreement at the end of conference on April 20 attesting to the need for collective efforts and setting out a plan of action, Miraj added.

Meanwhile the meeting of the 64th GCC Health Ministers Council's Executive Committee started in Riyadh on 15th April 06, to discuss several health issues including the implications of Avian Influenza in the Gulf region. The Director General of the Executive Committee, Tawfiq Khojeh, said that the three-day session would discuss several issues concerning health cooperation between GCC states. He said that they would also discuss electronically linking health information centre in GCC states and activatin g the pharmaceuticals registration programme. Discussion of developing a joint plan to fight heart diseases, genetically inherited diseases and cancer, would also be addressed, he added.

An important agenda being discussed would be a plan to fight tobacco smoking in GCC states and means to implement it. The committee also plans to discuss improving health services as well as preparations for the GCC Health Ministers Conference, which will be held in Geneva next May on the sidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) General Assembly session. He stated that the roundtable meeting would also discuss the bird flu issue as well as eradicating malaria in the Arabia.


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