The Third Islamic Conference of Health Ministers (ICHM) was held in Astana, Republic of Kazakhstan on 29 September - 1 October 2011, on the theme of “Health, Wellbeing and Equality”. Delegates from 36 OIC Member States and various regional and international organizations participated in the Conference. The aim of the Conference was to provide an opportunity for the Ministers and representatives of the Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to review the status of health in OIC Member States, examine major health-related issues and identify concrete measures for strengthening cooperation among the OIC Member States with regard to health infrastructures, education, training, capacity building, disease surveillance, prevention and control as well as self-reliance in drugs and vaccine production. Dr. Savas Alpay, Director General, and Mr. Mazhar Hussain, Researcher, represented the Centre thereat.
The Centre contributed to the Conference with four studies titled: “The OIC Health Report 2011”, “The State of Maternal and Newborn Health in OIC Member Countries”, “The State of Polio in OIC Member Countries” and “Pharmaceutical Industry in OIC Member Countries”. These studies served as the back ground documents for the Brainstorming Session on “Cooperation among OIC Member States towards achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) No 4: Reduce child mortality and MDG No 5: Improve maternal health” and two Panel Discussions: “Global Eradication of Polio” and “Self Reliance on Supply and Production of Drugs including Vaccines”.
The opening session of the Conference was presided over by H.E. Kanat Saudabayev, Secretary of the State of Kazakhstan, with the presence of H.E. Yerbo Orynayev, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, H.E. Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan and current Chairman of the Council of the Foreign Ministers, H.E. Ambassador Abdul Moiz Bukhari, OIC Assistant Secretary General for Science and Technology and a host of prominent personalities. In his address the chairman of the Conference conveyed the best wishes of the President of Kazakhstan, H.E Nursultan Nazarbayev, to the participants and the expectations of the President of the Kazakhstan that the participants of the Conference will be able to identify the avenues for the joint ventures and cooperation to address challenges in the field of health in OIC Member States. H.E. Ambassador Abdul Moiz Bokhari, thanked the government of Kazakhstan for hosting the Conference and warm hospitality extended to the participants of the Conference. He underlined the importance of health to the well being and socio-economic development of the Member States and emphasized the importance of strengthening cooperation and collaboration among OIC Member States and international partnerships for addressing the health related challenges.
During the first working session, the Conference elaborated on the Report of the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action in the health sector and implementation of the recommendations of the First and the Second Islamic Conferences of Health Ministers. Furthermore, report of the Third Meeting of the Steering Committee on Health and a Draft Strategic Health Programme of Action of the OIC Member States for 2012 –2022, were also presented in this session. The Conference welcomed the actions taken by the OIC General Secretariat for strengthening the international partnership to address various health issues, including the cooperation between the OIC and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculoses, Malaria and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The statements were also made by the Health Ministers and Representatives of the Member States highlighting their national commitments to the issue of health and actions taken by their governments for improving the health care systems and increasing the access to basic health care services for the people.
A Brainstorming Session on Cooperation among OIC Member States towards achieving Millennium Development Goal (MDG) No 4: Reduce child mortality and MDG No 5: Improve maternal health and three Panel Discussions on a) Global Polio Eradication, b) Self Reliance on Supply and Production of Drugs including Vaccines and c) Fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculoses and Malaria were held during the three working sessions of the Conference,. On the basis of discussions, findings and recommendations of the Brainstorming Session and Panels, four resolutions were adopted by the Conference. In addition, the Conference also adopted two more resolutions regarding the issues of strengthening health cooperation and health support for the Palestinians in Occupied Palestine and the Syrian Arab Inhabitants of the Occupied Syrian Golan.
The Conference underscored the need for enhancing cooperation and partnership to address various health related challenges and decided to establish a Health Implementation Unit (HIU) at the OIC Headquarter in Jeddah to serve as the permanent secretariat of the Steering Committee on Health and facilitate monitoring the implementation of the resolutions and declarations emanating from the OIC Health Ministerial Conferences.
The Health Ministers and Representatives of the Member States adopted the Astana Declaration which reaffirmed the centrality of the health issues for the socio-economic development of the OIC Member States and encouraged the commitment of the Member States to attach high priority to health issues, foster intra-OIC and international health cooperation and reflected the recommendations emanating from the Conference.
Indonesia will host the 4th Session of the Islamic Conference of Health Ministers, to be held in 2013.
During the third Islamic Conference of Health Ministers (ICHM), SESRIC also launched the OIC Health Report 2011.
More and detailed information are available in the official website of the Conference at: http://oic.mz.gov.kz/en/