WONCA EMR president at WHO regional committee

Photo: Dr Tarawneh (3rd from left) with some of the NGO participants during the meeting

WONCA East Mediterranean Region president, Dr Mohammed Tarawneh, was invited to participate in the 61st session of the WHO regional committee for the WHO East Mediterranean region (EMRO) which was held in Tunis from 19-22 October 2014.

All 22 East Mediterranean region countries’ representatives (Ministers of the Health or their representatives) participated, in addition to Dr Margret Chan, WHO General Director and various NGOs.

The opening ceremony was held on the evening of October 19, 2014 in the Le Palace Hotel, Tunis, Tunisia

The annual 2013 report of the WHO EMRO focused on the following topics:
  • Health systems strengthening towards universal health coverage;
  • Maternal and child health;
  • Noncommunicable diseases;
  • Communicable diseases, particularly health security;
  • Emergency preparedness and response;

WONCA statement

The following WONCA statement was delivered by the WONCA EMR president:

The World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) is a not-for-profit organization and was founded in 1972 by member organizations in 18 countries. WONCA now has 118 Member Organizations in 130 countries and territories representing 500,000 family doctors and covering more than 90 per cent of the world’s population.

On this occasion of 61st WHO-Regional Committee for Eastern Mediterranean meeting, it is my privilege to make WONCA statement on Regional strategy and to highlight the work of WONCA with the WHO EMRO, where our active engagement with the recent mental health and NCD initiatives, and our desire to continue to strengthen our support for WHO EMRO initiatives across the region, to achieve Universal Health Coverage.

WONCA would like to highlight it’s desire to work with each nation in the region on supporting the role of family medicine in strengthening their primary health care delivery, and support the training and continuing professional development of family doctors, and the member of primary care team.

WONCA invite involvement of family doctors member organizations, from those countries not already WONCA members, in discussion about membership, with WONCA.

The World Organization of Family Doctors would like to focus on the following recommendations::
• Every medical school in the world should have an academic department of family medicine/general practice, or an equivalent academic focus;
• Every medical student in the world should experience family medicine/general practice as early as possible and as often as possible during their training
• It is urgently needed to invest in training family doctors/general practitioners and design health systems where family doctors/general practitioners are a fundamental and valued part.
I am thankful to WHO-EMRO for giving me the opportunity to participate and make a statement at this prestigious gathering.

The meeting agenda

The agenda of the meeting from October 20-22, 2014 highlighted the following items:
  • Eradication of poliomyelitis
  • Tobacco free initiatives
  • Achievement of the health related millennium development goals and global health goals after 2015
  • Regional strategy for health sector response to HIV 2011-2015
  • Saving the lives of mothers and children
  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Non-communicable diseases: implementation of the political declaration of the UN general assembly and follow up on the UN review meeting in July 2014
  • Health system strengthening: progress and prospects 2012-2016
  • Reinforcing health information system
Photo: Dr Tarawneh, WONCA EMR president with the Tunisian Minster of Health, H E Mohammad Salah Ben Ammar. 

The WONCA EMR president emphasized the commitment of WONCA to collaborate with WHO EMRO for better outcomes.
Dr Mohammed Tarawneh
WONCA EMR president