The Government of Kiribati has welcomed the Commonwealth’s support as it works to strengthen its health system.
At a meeting of the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Health (CACH), the Minister of Health and Medical Services cited the positive difference financial and technical assistance had made.
The Committee, made up of senior government officials from Ministries of Health, regional bodies and civil society from across the Commonwealth, was meeting for the first time in its history in the Pacific.
A decade ago a devastating tsunami crashed into parts of south and south-east Asia killing hundreds of thousands of people and injuring many more.
Five of the seven most affected countries were Commonwealth members: Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and the Maldives.
In the Maldives 80 people died - a small number in comparison to other countries, but the damage to the country’s infrastructure was unprecedented.
“The Ebola virus is an unparalleled challenge to the social fabric and wellbeing of affected countries. It is a medical calamity which is taking an enormous toll at the personal and national level.”
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma made the remarks in a briefing to High Commissioners in London this week, after speaking again to Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Dr Kamura Samara, about appropriate Commonwealth support.
Sharma distressed by appalling food, health and sanitation situation in Zimbabwe
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma on 8 December 2008 expressed grave concern at the dire humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe and called on Commonwealth member countries to give their strong support to the appeal launched by the United Nations to assist the country.
The Secretary-General met with a cross-section of Commonwealth organisations on a response to the Zimbabwe crisis. The previous week Zimbabwe had appealed to the international community for assistance to tackle its challenges.
Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon today announced a new programme to bring medical doctors from around the Commonwealth to work in Maldives:
"Today I am launching an appeal to doctors to volunteer to help the people of Maldives, who are suffering the devastating consequences of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004.