Gaborone, Botswana – The 73rd session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa (RC73) closed on Friday with the Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, citing progress made in a number of areas, including the fight against COVID-19, the strengthening of health systems, and the response to other health threats.
Dr. Moeti highlighted the region’s success in vaccinating over 1.2 billion people against COVID-19, as well as the launch of the African Union’s Emergency Health Fund to support countries in responding to future health emergencies. She also noted the progress made in strengthening health systems, including the development of new human resources for health strategies and the improvement of access to essential medicines.
“We have made significant progress in a number of areas, but there is still much work to be done,” Dr. Moeti said. “We must continue to invest in our health systems and ensure that everyone has access to quality healthcare.”
Dr. Moeti also called for continued action on a number of health threats, including antimicrobial resistance, noncommunicable diseases, and climate change. She urged countries to make the most of the opportunities offered by the upcoming UN General Assembly to raise key health issues.
The 73rd RC73 was held in Gaborone, Botswana, from August 22–26, 2023. It was attended by ministers of health from across the African region, as well as representatives from other organizations and stakeholders.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Moeti thanked the Government of Botswana for hosting the meeting and for its support of the WHO African Region. He also thanked the participants for their contributions to the discussion.
“I am confident that we can build on the progress we have made and achieve even more in the years to come,” Dr. Moeti said. “Together, we can create a healthier Africa for all.”