KATHMANDU, Oct 18: Nepal should strengthen primary health care system instead of focusing on big hospitals, according to Prof Dr Philippe Douste-Blazy, Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Special Advisor on Innovative Financing for Development.
Prof Douste-Blazy, who is also the director general of World Health Organization (WHO) and has served in France as cardiologist, professor and health minister, is in an official visit to Nepal at present.
“Nepal is yet to focus on universal health care system by linking poverty and health concerns,” he said. “Not only Health Ministry but also other ministries should work together to ensure health rights of the people. The Government of Nepal should hold meetings with different ministries such as Ministry of Education and Ministry of Finance to work on health sector by linking poverty and awareness,” he added.Nepal is yet to be adequately prepared for quick response against deadly communicable viruses like Ebola, he said.
“We have discovered vaccine against dengue and are planning to help Nepal,” he said in a brief meeting with journalists in Kathmandu on Monday.
French diplomat Philippe paid a courtesy call on Health Minister Gagan Kumar Thapa Monday morning and discussed about the health concerns of Nepal. “We discussed on the various issues of health concerns, including providing basic facilities to the people.
We talked about opening a cancer center here as a part of fight against non-communicable diseases, which are more dangerous,” he said. “Providing nutritious and hygienic food for school children is another way to improve health situation in Nepal.”
“Public health is the issue of human rights. We are ready to assist Nepal by providing support in the forms of human resources, equipment and health workers,” he said. “I believe accessibility, availability and affordability are essential services to be provided to the people of Nepal. Prices of medicines also need to be reduced here.”
“French people and the government were with you and are always with you to support the development of health sector in Nepal,” he concluded.