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23 May, 2024
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WHO-Led European Health Summit convenes in Limassol

Health Ministers from 13 small European nations discuss collaborative solutions for health challenges


Health and Deputy Health Ministers from 13 European states, including Malta, Luxembourg, Andorra, San Marino, Iceland, Monaco, Montenegro, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, Moldova, North Macedonia, and Cyprus, alongside European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, and WHO Regional Director for Europe, Hans Henri Kluge, convened for the 10th High-Level Meeting of the Small Countries Initiative in Limassol from April 10 to 12.

Cyprus' Minister of Health, Michael Damianos, emphasized the meeting's significance as a platform for knowledge exchange, best practice sharing, and collaboration among member states. He underscored the vulnerability of small countries during crises, citing the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and expressed gratitude for EU support in accessing vaccines.

The meeting focused on themes including cancer, health and climate change impact, and experiences of small countries. Commissioner Kyriakides highlighted the European Health Data Space and EU4Health program's significance, emphasizing mental health support and equitable access to medicines.

Key pillars of the European Health Union, including addressing medication access inequity and emergency preparedness, were discussed. Commissioner Kyriakides also emphasized the importance of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan and cooperation with WHO Europe.

WHO Regional Director Kluge praised small countries' role in global health challenges and called for continued momentum in addressing climate crisis impacts and cancer care. He emphasized multilateralism and technological advancement, highlighting WHO's forthcoming Strategic Digital Health Partnership Initiative.

The meeting agenda included discussions on cancer care, human resources for health, access to medicines, childhood cancer, and health and climate change. Ministers are expected to adopt a Cyprus Statement on small countries’ health priorities.

[Information from CNA]

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