WHO renews cooperation with Seychelles
Seychelles health minister Mitcy Larue signing the agreement with Dr Cornelia Atsyor of the WHO (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The World Health Organisation today extended its support to Seychelles by signing a new agreement and giving the Indian Ocean island nation a $1.6 million grant.
Seychelles Health minister Mitcy Larue and WHO liaison officer Dr Cornelia Atsyor signed the technical and financial support agreement which covers two years, at the nation’s main hospital in Victoria this morning.
Atsyor said the plan of action covered by the agreement entails interventions that are bound improve the health of the Seychellois people within the next two years and the extension follows hard work by health ministry staff who guided the WHO on areas of specific need.
“Financial support is only a minor contribution as our major support is technical. As a technical agency in the United Nations and with a mandate for health, we also provide extra budgetary support. For example we intervened last year following flooding caused by heavy rains and we also gave laboratory equipment and training,” she said.
She expressed hope that the cooperation will continue not only with the Ministry of Health but also with non-governmental organisations as well as the private sector so as to achieve “the best health outcomes for the people of Seychelles”.
Larue welcomed the support, which she said will go to priority health programmes, and noted the WHO always responds to the Seychelles’ call for support.
She said the WHO always responds to Seychelles’ health demands as the government seeks to offer “health for all and health by all” as required of it by the islands nation’s constitution, where healthcare is free for all citizens.
Seychelles is going through a process of epidemiological transition from communicable to non-communicable diseases.
Non-communicable diseases are the main cause of death in the Seychelles. The highest proportion of deaths results from diseases of the circulatory system such as heart disease and diabetes, diseases of the respiratory system and cancers. Out of 717 deaths reported last year, diseases of the circulatory system contributed to 3% of the total deaths, according to the 2013 annual statistics report of the Seychelles Ministry of Health.
HIV and Aids and Hepatitis C in the Seychelles are the major challenge in view of their increasing prevalence. HIV prevalence is less than 1 percent of the country's 90,000 population, according to the 2013 KAPB (Knowledge, Attitude, Practice and Biological) study.
Leptospirosis also remains a major public health concern. A total of 28 confirmed cases of leptospirosis out of 584 suspected cases were reported in 2013, when 5 men aged between 30 and 51 died of leptospirosis-related causes.