Japan Sets Up Support System To Promote Universal Health Care In The Pacific

MOU is expected to establish a strategic partnership to strengthen health security and promote universal health coverage in a rapidly ageing Pacific and Asia

By Monika Singh

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 08, 2017) – The slow response from various authorities during times of health emergencies in the past has prompted the Japanese Government to set up a support system to promote universal health care in Pacific and Asia.

A memorandum of understanding was signed by the Asian Development Bank and the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) during the ADB's 50th annual meeting of board of governors in Yokohama in Japan this week.

The MOU is expected to establish a strategic partnership to strengthen health security and promote universal health coverage (UHC) in a rapidly ageing Pacific and Asia. JICA has a project running with the Ministry of Health in Fiji and Kiribati on prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.

ADB president Takehiko Nakao said although remarkable progress had been made in the areas of economic development and poverty reduction, Asia and the Pacific still faced various development challenges, including improved access to health services and efficient health systems.

"Through this partnership with JICA, ADB will step up its support for universal health coverage with strong attention to the region's aging population," said Mr Nakao.

The MOU aims to enhance the collaboration between ADB and JICA to promote health and wellbeing of people of all ages through the UHC as well as strengthening health security through better preparedness and response to public health emergencies.

JICA president Shinichi Kitaoka said the Government of Japan had been focusing on strengthening responsiveness to public health emergencies and attaining UHC with better preparedness for emergencies on many occasions.

"I expect that ADB and Japan will further accelerate our collaboration for working with developing countries in the health sector based on this agreement," said Mr Kitaoka.

Meanwhile, under this agreement ADB and JICA would explore opportunities for joint technical assistance in health policy formulation, health workforce development and institutional capacity building for health and long-term care.

Fiji Times Online.
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