The 11th Meeting of the OIC Steering Committee on Health (SCH) was hosted by the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 02-03 March 2016 at OIC Headquarters in Jeddah. The Steering Committee was attended by representatives of member countries and the relevant OIC and UN institutions, and discussed, inter alia, the status of implementation of the decisions and resolutions adopted by the Fifth Islamic Conference of Health Ministers held in Turkey on 17-19 November 2015, as well as the implementation of the OIC Strategic Health Programme of Action 2014-2023 (SHPA). The SCH Meeting was preceded by the 4th Lead Country Coordinators Meeting on 29 February-1 March 2016.
SESRIC delegation to the Meeting briefed the Committee on the most recent activities and initiatives undertaken by the Centre in the areas of research, statistics, training and technical cooperation. In this regard, the Committee was informed that SESRIC is preparing a report on “The Status of Cancer in OIC Member Countries” to be presented in the Special Session of First Ladies on Tackling Cancer on the sideline of the 13th Islamic Summit. This report provides a detailed analysis on incidence, prevalence and death burden of major cancers in OIC member countries, and aiming at taking stock of relevant existing policy measures, infrastructure, financial and human resources, initiatives and action plans at both OIC and global level to prevent and control the incidence and death burden of cancer.
The Meeting was also informed about the recent initiative of the OIC Network on Population and Reproductive, Maternal, New-born and Child Health Network (OIC RMNCHNet) launched jointly by SESRIC and UNFPA in Ankara on 4 December 2015. The Network will serve as a deposit of innovative ideas, problem solving and best practices as well as a platform for disseminating knowledge to OIC countries, members engaging in joint activities and discussions, help each other, and disseminate and exchange innovative ideas, best practices and viable means of addressing challenges to improve the health of mothers and children in OIC member countries.
SESRIC also brought to the attention of the SCH the plight of refugees and their healthcare needs and called upon the LCCs to develop programmes and activities aimed at alleviating the suffering of refugees hosted in OIC member countries. In this regards, SESRIC informed the audience on the outcomes of the health session during the Syrian Refugees Workshop organized by SESRIC on 25-26 February 2016 and emphasized the need to consider the health of refugees as a priority for the Member States. Accordingly, the meeting decided to establish a special Working Group on Refugees.
The next Steering Committee meeting will be held in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.