Victoria, Seychelles, 27th August 2017 - The President of the Republic of Seychelles Honourable Danny Faure has commended the five small island developing states of the African WHO region for having kept the promise of trying to keep working together as one over the last 10 years. President Faure said that the SIDS, Mauritius, Comoros, Cabo Verde, Sao Tome and Principe and Seychelles should be proud to have been able to keep such great collaboration healthy amidst international political and economic turbulence and real international challenges in health.
“We have come much closer together as states, as people, as culture and as front runners in health accomplishments in our continent. Individually and collectively we have been writing the book of international commitment for health and of multi-lateral collaboration in health. We should be proud of what we have done together”, President Faure said as he officially opened the sixth Meeting of African Ministers of Health of Small Island Developing States going on currently in Victoria, Seychelles.
‘But we must put even greater individual and collective effort to keep pushing to reach the next milestone. There is a lot more important work for us to do together” The President reminded the delegates.
During his address, the President Danny Faure took the opportunity to highlight the realities and vulnerabilities of the small island states which he said include its limited economic resources, its remoteness, its susceptibility to natural disasters, vulnerability to external shock and excessive independence on international trade. None-the-less “despite real challenges there is an abundance of energy and innovation inside all of us small island developing states, to push ourselves and our nation as far as we can go” he pointed out.
Taking Seychelles as example, the President provided an array of examples on what small island developing states can do to address the specific challenges. These include for example investing heavily in the health sector, working towards improving all the known social determinants of health, and raising awareness amongst the population to bring home the message that their health is first and foremost their own responsibility to protect and promote .
“We work to built personal and collective resilience. We work to strengthen all the pillars of the health system….. This SIDS Health Ministers conference is about hearing and learning what each one of us does best. We have a lot to learn from each other, generating greater understanding and innovating together helps us to advance all of our countries at the same time” the President concluded.