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All set for population and development conference

All set for population and development conference

Story by Abigirl Tembo, Health Editor

THE 20th International Inter-ministerial Conference of South – South and Triangular Cooperation in Population and Development will kick off in Victoria Falls this Monday and run until Tuesday.

Representatives of more than 30 member countries and organisations from around the globe which make up the Partners in Population and Development (PPD) are now in Victoria Falls for the event.

The 27 member countries and partners met this Sunday ahead of the conference which will see Zimbabwe lead the global population and development discourse.

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr Douglas Mombeshora said, “The government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Health and Child Care is committed to providing and continuously providing quality family planning services and sexual reproductive health services as part of primary health care services. The government of Zimbabwe remains committed to supporting the work of the PPD.”

Dr Mombeshora also held a bilateral meeting with the Vice Minister of the National Health Commission of China, Dr Yu Xuejun where they discussed several areas of cooperation in the medical field.

“Allow me to express the government’s appreciation for the support that the People’s Republic of China continues to extend to various sectors of the economy as well as the technical support to the government of Zimbabwe which has largely enhanced our health footprint. I particularly commend the People’s Republic of China’s support of the construction of the National Pharmaceutical Warehouse NATPHARM, one of the largest warehouses in the Southern African region. The project was completed and handed over to the government of Zimbabwe on 6 October 2022. The project was funded by a Chinese grant of US$22 million,” he said.

Dr Yu noted, “As you have just said the bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and China have a very long history. China has dispatched a team of medical doctors to Zimbabwe since 1995. For the next step, we would like to have more close relationships to further development the existing ones so that the Chinese medical team will contribute more to Zimbabwe’s health and wellbeing. The second is the pair hospital corporation mechanism.”

The UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Director Ms. Lydia Zigomo also met with Zimbabwe’s Health and Child Care Minister where she stressed the importance of hosting the Population and Development Conference.

“Sexual reproductive health is part of a broader agenda around Population and Development. We believe that for a healthy nation, you need healthy citizens and to have healthy citizens you need to take care of every man, woman boy and girl’s sexual and reproductive health so they underpin the ability of a country to progress in terms of its development agenda.

“So this conference is about looking at all the developments that we need to look at so when we talk about Population and Development we talk about sexual and reproductive health rights, we are talking about health systems in general and how they are being strengthened in terms of capacity but also the ability to monitor and target services to those who have been left behind,’ she said.

The conference seeks to track the progress of commitments made at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo, Egypt in 1994.

At the 1994 ICPD conference representatives from 179 governments and other stakeholders adopted a landmark and far-sighted plan to advance human well-being by placing the rights of individuals at the centre of the global development agenda.

The ICPD Programme of Action also emphasised the value of investing in women and girls and affirmed the principle of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights for all.

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