Zimbabwe participated in the Global Conference on Primary Health Care: From Alma-Ata towards universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals at the 40th anniversary of the Alma Ata Declaration (1978). The objective was to adopt and reaffirm Primary Health Care as a strategy for achieving Universal Health Coverage.
During the Conference the Hon Minister, Dr Obadiah Moyo met with Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director General of the World Health Organisation, Ms Henrietta H. Fore, the UNICEF Executive Director, Ministers of Health representing 50 countries and several other high level officials from the global health community.
The Hon Minister managed to discuss several health achievements and challenges of the health sector and positive responses were made and these are to be followed up.
During the conference, the Hon Minister presented a paper on ‘Rehabilitation as an essential component of Primary Health Care’ which was well received. The Hon Minister’s presentation highlighted the following:
- The need to Modernise health care services at Primary Health Care Level
- Ensure five-Star Comprehensive Quality Service at the Primary Health Care Level
The Ministry of Health and Child Care will review and revise Strategies that are currently in-place in order to achieve the aspirations of the Astana Declaration.
The Conference aimed at strengthening primary health care as the foundation for Universal Health Coverage, building on lessons learnt over the past four decades. On the occasion of this momentous anniversary, member States, people, civil society and international partners committed to transforming the new vision into a practical reality—a reality that everyone can share, believe in, take action upon, and benefit from.
Heads of State and Government, ministers and representatives of States and Governments in the Global Conference on Primary Health Care made the following Declaration:
- Governments and societies prioritize, promote and protect people’s health and well-being, at both population and individual levels, through strong health systems;
- Primary health care and health services that are high quality, safe, comprehensive, integrated, accessible, available and affordable for everyone and everywhere, provided with compassion, respect and dignity by health professionals who are well-trained, skilled, motivated and committed;
- Enabling and health-conducive environments in which individuals and communities are empowered and engaged in maintaining and enhancing their health and well-being;
- Partners and stakeholders aligned in providing effective support to national health policies, strategies and plans.
The Astana Declaration stakeholders affirmed their commitment to the fundamental right of every human being to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health without discrimination of any kind.
The Conference was convinced that strengthening primary health care (PHC) is the most inclusive, effective and efficient approach to enhance people’s physical and mental health, as well as social well-being, and that PHC is a cornerstone of a sustainable health system for universal health coverage (UHC) and health-related Sustainable Development Goals.
The Heads of State and Government, ministers and representatives of States and Governments acknowledge that in spite of remarkable progress over the last 40 years, people in all parts of the world still have unaddressed health needs. Remaining healthy is challenging for many people, particularly the poor and people in vulnerable situations. They found it ethically, politically, socially and economically unacceptable that inequity in health and disparities in health outcomes persist.
Astana Declaration witnessed nations making commitments to make bold political choices for health across all sectors and build sustainable primary health care policies that will deliver comprehensive quality health care to the citizens.