His Holiness Pope Francis and the Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, have committed to improving the health and wellbeing of the most vulnerable and marginalised in both rich and poor countries.
According to them, health is a right and should not be a privilege.
The Pontiff and the world health body’s DG made the declaration on Tuesday in Rome when Ghebreyesus met with His Holiness ahead of the Global Conference on Primary Health Care (PHC), taking place on Oct. 25 and Oct. 26 in Astana, Kazakhstan.
They met to discuss ways to ensure that all people can obtain the healthcare they need, whoever they are and wherever they live.
“I am honoured and humbled to have met His Holiness Pope Francis and to discover that we share so many of the same concerns.
“For many years, in our previous occupations as well as our current positions, we have both worked to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people.
“I am delighted to have Pope Francis’ support for our effort to extend the right of life and health to all people.
“I particularly welcome the Pope’s emphasis on the welfare of children.
“I am encouraged to hear him say that he is beside us and all those working with us in the attempt to bring health to all.
“Especially the many people, including children, who live on the periphery of society, and who suffer ill health and hunger,’’ Ghebreyesus said.
The Global Conference on PHC taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan, marks the 40th anniversary of the historic Alma Aty Declaration and its commitment to achieve Health for All.
Delegates in Kazakhstan will endorse a new declaration to revitalise PHC around the world.
The goal is to ensure that healthcare focuses on care for people, rather than simply treatment for specific diseases or conditions, factoring in all aspects of people’s individual lives and situations.
Primary healthcare is at the heart of the global drive to achieve Universal Health Coverage, itself one of the core foundations of the Sustainable Development Goals of better health and wellbeing for all people.