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Statement H.E. Osman Saleh Mohammed, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Eritrea, at the High-level Meeting on Pandemic Prevention, Preparedness and Response 20 September 2023, New York

Mr. President,

Excellencies,

Distinguished delegates,

Allow me to thank the Co-facilitators for all the hard work in the preparations of this high-level meeting.

Emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and other global threats such as anti-microbial resistance, global warming and climate change, present a serious socio-economic global challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has left a profound impact on all of us.

Eritrea, like other countries, risks being affected by potential outbreaks of infectious diseases. Thus, combating biological threats and health emergencies are priorities for Eritrea’s vision of attaining the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, as is stipulated in our National Health Policy 2020.

In Eritrea, the COVID-19 pandemic occurred during the execution of the first National Action Plan for Health Security (NAPHS). The 2022-2026 Action Plan is a strategic plan designed to collaborate between relevant ministries, local departments and UN agencies. As such, the government of Eritrea was able to implement these newly established guidelines in order to respond to the pandemic. The government further established a high-level National Task Force for the prevention of COVID-19.

Eritrea also adopted a multi-sectoral approach, leveraging the principles of ‘One Health’, with significant engagement of stakeholders in the process. This multi-sectoral approach reflects a shared commitment to enhanced collaboration when addressing national health securityand underlines the need for sectoral coordination, monitoring and evaluation systems.

Excellencies,

Eritrea has put in place a strong Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response program which has a foundation in the zonal health branches with their Rapid Response Teams. The strengthening of national capacities to implement the International Health Regulations continues to reinforce our health care systems.

 To conclude, pandemic prevention and response is given top priority in Eritrean national health care policies.  Our objectives are clear, which is to minimize the burden of health risk factors for all citizens, strengthen the Emergency Preparedness and Response System, and enhance quality of life. The Eritrean government remains committed to improving the health status of its citizens.

I thank you!

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