Marrakech - The first African Conference on Health and Harm Reduction, placed under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, kicked off, Wednesday 16th in Marrakech, with the participation of eminent personalities, decision-makers, experts, specialists and African and international professionals.
The opening session of this Conference, which took place in the presence of the Head of Government, Aziz Akhannouch, several members of the government and the Advisor to HM the King, André Azoulay, was marked by a Message addressed by the Sovereign to the participants, which was read by the Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Aït Taleb.
In this message, His Majesty the King stressed that the citizens' health, which is paramount in promoting solidarity and closer bonds between peoples, is crucial for effective South-South cooperation.
The Sovereign also said that health is one of the greatest challenges facing the African continent, noting that the Covid-19 pandemic "has shown the need for collective action and for the scaling up of projects."
Initiated by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Moroccan Association of Addictive Medicine and Pathologies (MAPA), this international conference, which continues until November 18, brings together African and international experts to reflect on aspects of health in broad concepts of public health policies, but also to build the pillars of health in the future, rethinking health in its organic, psychological, economic, social and environmental aspects, working jointly for a common African health through also culture, education and teaching.
At the end of the opening session of this important Conference, Akhannouch and other personalities visited the exhibition of plastic arts and state-of-the-art medical equipment, set up for this occasion by the organizers with the participation of renowned artists, professionals and various institutions operating in the field of health.
This event is a step to further concretize the ambition to create an integrated, united and interdependent Africa with a collective vision.
Indeed, African countries are, today, called upon to walk hand in hand to guarantee health sovereignty which is based on the ability to ensure the right to health protection, which will undoubtedly contribute to the protection of countries against economic, social and political crises.
Thus, the debate initiated during this Conference by eminent national and international experts will have to converge towards a guiding principle to rethink the challenges of the Continent and, in particular, its orientations towards a sovereignty that will allow the achievement of Universal Health Coverage in Africa, by ensuring an equitable access to quality health services.
This Conference is also an opportunity to conduct a dialogue on the importance of investing in health in Africa and adopting innovative solutions through the development of technology transfer, expertise and know-how.
As globalization continues, it is becoming apparent that issues that were once national policy are now issues of global reach and impact, and health is integral to the economic, geopolitical, security and social justice agendas, including human rights and domestic and foreign policy.
Discussions at this meeting will focus on developing a common vision for the future of health in Africa, with an emphasis on the role of public health programs in building trust at the community level and between people and governments.
During this first Conference, several round tables around are scheduled on several themes: "Social determinants of health in Africa", "Silent killers: cardiovascular diseases, oncology, tobacco, sugar obesity", "Mental health and addictions: education and teaching", "Health financing, state responsibility and financial sustainability", "How to make a success of the medical cannabis in Africa" and the "place of the medicine of the future in Africa: regenerative medicine, digitization-telemedicine, intelligence and connected care."
The agenda of this event also includes the signing of several books by eminent authors, researchers and specialists in the field.