The Ninth Meeting of the OIC Steering Committee on Health (SCH) was held on 25–26 February 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. The meeting was attended by the members of the Steering Committee, inter alia, discussed preparations of the 5th Islamic Conference of Ministers of Health (ICHM) scheduled to be held in Turkey on 17-19 November 2015 and reviewed the status of implementation of the OIC Strategic Health Programme of Action 2014-2023. The SCH Meeting was preceded by Lead Country Coordinators Meeting on 23-24 February 2015 at the same venue.
The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Dr. Untung Suseno Sutarjo, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health in the Republic of Indonesia. Welcoming the members of the Steering Committee, Dr. Untung called for closer cooperation and proper coordination among the different stakeholders for effective implementation of OIC Strategic Programme of Action (OIC-SHPA) 2014-2023. He underlined the importance of promoting OIC interests in international platforms and fora where OIC Member States are also members citing the example of the Global Health Security Agenda Initiative where both Indonesia and Turkey are members. Dr. Untung reaffirmed the commitment of Indonesia to work with the OIC Member States and institutions for the effective implementation of the SHPA.
On his part, the Director General of the Foreign Affairs and EU, Ministry of Health of Republic of Turkey, Dr. Öner Güner welcomed the participants to the 9th Meeting of the Steering Committee. He noted that Turkey was due to host the 5th Islamic Conference of Health Ministers (ICHM) in 2015 when the picture will become clear as to how Member States stand in meeting the Millennium Development Goals related to health. He regretted the fact that maternal child mortality rate are still very high which calls for closer cooperation in addressing the health challenges facing the Ummah. He then outlined contribution of Turkey in supporting other OIC Member States in the health domain, and called on all the stakeholders to look critically at the OIC-SHPA 2014-2023 with a view to ensuring its effective and speedy implementation.
The representative of OIC General Secretariat, Dr. Razley Nordin thanked the Government of Turkey on behalf of the OIC Secretary General for its contributions to the work of the OIC in various domains. He highlighted a number of milestones reached in the implementation of the OIC-SHPA 2014-2023 since its adoption in 2013. These are, inter alia, launching of the OIC Vaccine Manufacturers Group in June 2014; establishment of an Islamic Advisory Group (IAG) on eradication of polio and the OIC collaborative project on Maternal and Child Health with SESRIC, IDB, USAID and WHO which aims at supporting selected OIC Member Countries in addressing maternal and child mortality burden. He reiterated that implementation of the programmes under the OIC SHPA should and must be led by member states and all efforts must focus towards obtaining necessary political will and be included as development priority in respective member states. He commended to the contributions made by international partners.
The representative of SESRIC, Mr. Mehmet Fatih Serenli, highlighted the ongoing activities that are directly relevant to the implementation efforts in relation to the six thematic areas of the SHPA inter alia: regular update of the relevant health data, preparation of OIC Health Report, several training programmes, tobacco control project and mobilization of NGOs to participate in the implementation of SHPA. In this respect, he mentioned that Ibn Sina Alliance of Health NGOs has been established under aegis of SESRIC, focusing on the modalities that the civil society institutions can employ in complementing the role of the Member States in the implementation of the OIC-SHPA.
The Heads of Delegations of the participating international institutions, namely, IDB, COMSTECH, ISESCO, WHO, Global Fund and UNFPA also expressed their commitment of their respective organisations to working with OIC in the implementation of its agenda in the health domain. They also re-affirmed their willingness coordinate and cooperate in the implementation of OIC-SHPA 2014-2023.
The meeting took note of the report of the OIC General Secretariat on the implementation of various resolutions adopted by the 4th Islamic Conference of Ministers of Health (ICHM) and the 8th Meeting of Steering Committee on Health and invited the Member States and OIC concerned institutions to speed up implementation of the resolutions and recommendations falling within their respective realms and report to the OIC General Secretariat accordingly.