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World Health Day observed

Asmara, 08 April 2024- World Health Day was observed at national level in Asmara under the theme “My Health-My Right”. The occasion was graced by senior officials from the Ministry of Health and representatives from various United Nations agencies in Eritrea.

Dr. Andebrhan Tesfatsion

Dr. Andebrhan Tesfatsion, the Acting Director General of Public Health at the Ministry, highlighted Eritrea’s commitment to ensuring basic healthcare for all, aligning with the principles laid out in the National Charter and Macro Policy. He underscored the ongoing efforts to enhance the national health strategy, aiming for efficient and high-quality healthcare services.

Dr. Andebrhan emphasized the comprehensive approach taken, including significant investments in healthcare, initiatives to foster behavioral change, bolstering human resources, modernizing medical infrastructure, and encouraging community engagement. He shared noteworthy achievements: 70% of Eritreans now access healthcare services within 5 km of their homes, with 80% within a 10 km radius. Additionally, vaccination coverage for 12 diseases has reached 98%, there’s been a marked decrease in new infections, and latrine utilization stands at approximately 80%.

Dr. Nonso Ejiofor

Dr. Nonso Ejiofor, the WHO Representative in Eritrea, reflected on the remarkable health advancements in the region over the past decade. He noted increases in life expectancy for African women from 54 to 67 years between 2000 and 2020, a 33% drop in maternal mortality rates, and a 50% reduction in child mortality rates before the age of five. Dr. Ejiofor also highlighted significant strides in combating HIV/AIDS and TB, with a 44% decrease in new HIV infections and a 55% reduction in AIDS-related deaths from 2011 to 2021, alongside a 26% decline in TB fatalities. Efforts towards eradicating diseases like polio and guinea worm disease, and eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus, are nearing success.

This year’s event marked the 28th national and 76th international observance of World Health Day, reaffirming Eritrea’s dedication to health as a fundamental human right.

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