Protecting and promoting health means building health systems that address the needs of all.
OTTAWA, May 24, 2017 /CNW/ - Global health challenges require global health solutions, and Canada is committed to collaborating with its international partners in order to improve the health of Canadians, and global citizens as well.
Over the past week, Canada participated in the G20 Health Ministers' Meeting (HMM) in Berlin, Germany, as well as the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. The Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, and Dr. Theresa Tam, interim Chief Public Health Officer of Canada, shared Canada's perspectives on a number of global health priorities with health leaders from other G20 countries as well as representatives of the member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international organizations.
The G20 HMM marked the first time that global health has been addressed broadly at the Ministerial level within the G20. At this meeting, Ministers participated in a simulated health emergency aimed at improving global health crisis management, and discussed strengthening health systems, as well as challenges related to preventing and responding to antimicrobial resistance (AMR). A declaration agreed upon by all participating nations, committed G20 Health Ministers to the continuation of dialogue on global health at their next meeting in Argentina, and to further promoting health within the G20. The Declaration also reaffirmed the G20 commitment to achieve the health-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As part of Canada's ongoing commitment to address life-saving global health needs, Minister Philpott announced the Government of Canada's contribution of $1.5 million to support the World Health Organization's Contingency Fund for Emergencies ($1M) and life-saving health services to assist conflict-affected people in Ukraine (500K).
At the World Health Assembly, Minister Philpott and the Canadian delegation engaged with international colleagues directly on Canada's global health priorities. In her address to the WHA plenary, Minister Philpott reinforced Canada's position that protecting and promoting health means building health systems that address the needs of all, including the most vulnerable. The Minister also took the opportunity to experience first-hand from local Geneva officials about their 25-year approach to harm reduction, including a tour of a supervised consumption site and a heroin treatment facility.
While in Geneva, Minister Philpott also confirmed the Government of Canada's commitment to develop a Pan-Canadian Framework on Antimicrobial Resistance and Use in Canada by 2017. To address the emergence and spread of AMR, she also announced $1.39 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support innovations with the goal of implementing the best diagnostic tools in health care settings and the right use of antibiotics.
Further, the Minister co-chaired a roundtable discussion on mental health with the World Health Organization, bringing together more than 50 international counterparts and representatives from international organizations to share challenges and discuss actions to improve global mental wellness. She also co-hosted an event with Switzerland to draw attention to continued attacks on medical workers in conflict zones, and she provided remarks at the Immune Nations event, a unique art exhibit Canada co-sponsored with Norway to foster conversations about immunization and vaccine hesitancy.
The WHA saw the election of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as the next Director General of the WHO. Canada recognizes the important role that he will play in addressing today's global health challenges, and congratulates Dr. Tedros for a successful campaign.
"I am honoured and proud to have represented Canada at the first-ever G20 Health Ministers' Meeting and at the World Health Assembly. These international meetings are vital to establishing the consensus and collaboration needed to address pressing and complex global health challenges. I look forward to continuing to work closely with my international colleagues to protect and promote good health worldwide."
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health
"Canada has a long history of public health leadership on the global stage. The discussions and outcomes from meetings like the G20 HMM and the WHA are important reminders that we must take collective action and remain vigilant against global public health threats like antimicrobial resistance and other emerging diseases."
Dr. Theresa Tam
Interim Chief Public Health Officer
SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada
For further information: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983; Public Inquiries: 613-957-2991, 1-866 225-0709