The Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) is hosting the 6th Meeting of African Ministers for Health of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The meeting was officially opened by the President of the Republic, Danny Faure on Tuesday 26th August 2017. This comes only one week after Seychelles ministers signed a pledge towards ‘Health in All Policies’.

Present at the ceremony was the Regional Director for WHO/AFRO, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the 3 ministers for health from SIDS who are at the forefront of this 4-day discussions, Jean Paul Adam, Minister for Health Seychelles, Dr Anwar Husnoo, Minister for Health and Quality of Life Mauritius, and Arlindo do Rosário, Minister for Health Cabo Verde. Also present were the two heads of delegations representing Comoros and Sao Tome e Principe, government officials, as well as health staff.

President Faure launched the meeting by commending these small island states for the strong bond forged during the 11 years since the meeting first took place in 2006. “We have kept this great collaboration healthy and alive. In the process we have come much closer together, as states, as peoples, as cultures and as front-runners in health accomplishment on our continent,” President Faure said, addressing the audience.

He went on to highlight many of the accomplishments made by Seychelles over years, in health. However, before concluding stressed on how this successes can become greater with the continuation of this strong partnership.

“The SIDS Ministers’ Conference is about hearing and learning what each one of us does best. We have a lot to learn from each other.”

President Faure’s words echoed throughout all of the speeches for the evening further underlined the bond between the member states of this meeting and how this can be further reinforced to benefit everyone.

Minister Adam, listed many of the challenges faced by SIDS. However, he did not leave it at that. He shared equally interesting ideas to improve together. “We look forward to further enhancing the discussion on methodologies that build sustainable long term solutions to these issues,” he concluded.

The meeting is being held at the Savoy Hotel and will continue until Friday 29th September 2017.

TOP image shows five people sitting at a table panel style, UNAIDS executive director Michel Sidibe is leading discussions