37-Nation ILO Meet Opens

Manila Bulletin, September 19, 2000 | Go to article overview

37-Nation ILO Meet Opens


Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Tadao Chino, keynoting the week-long 51st annual session of the World Health Organization (WHO)-Western Pacific Regional Office in Manila, said yesterday that health conditions in Asia have dramatically improved over the years.

Chino, however, said that high infant mortality rate, widespread nutrition problems, diseases such as tuberculosis, diarrhea, acute respiratory, and maternal illnesses, and high fertility rates may delay Asia's economic and social development.

Ministers of health and experts from 37 member states of WHO in Asia - host Philippines, China, American Samoa, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Kiribati, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Nauru, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcalm Islands, Korea, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam, and Wallis and Futuna Islands - are attending the meet.

Chino said that the human immune deficiency virus (HIV) and the acquired immunity deficiency syndrome (AIDS) are some the health challenges facing the region.

"In the face of these daunting challenges, financial resources of most of the governments in the region are critically scarce," Chino said.

"Our policy for the health sector is intended to assist ADB's developing member countries (DMCs) in addressing these challenges more effectively and efficiently, and in ensuring access to basic health services that are efficient, cost-effective, and affordable," Chino said.

According to Chino, the bank has put emphasis on primary health care and on vulnerable groups such as the poor, women, children, and indigenous people; focuses on tangible and measurable results; supports the rapid dissemination of new technologies; facilitates health sector reform; and invests in building the capacity of private health providers in its health program. …

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