Malawi to benefit from Health Harm Reduction conference, says Phale

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Deputy Minister of Health  Enock Phale says the 1st African Health Harm Reduction Conference being held in Morocco is an eyeopener for Malawi as it has come at a time when the country is recovering from Covid-19 pandemic.

Phale and Deputy Director of Non-Communicable Diseases Dr. Jones Masiye are representing Malawi at the conference.

Phale said Malawi will learn how to prepare itself for pandemics and the nation will also be part of the solutions to the problems that the global village is facing.

“One of them being reducing health harm which if not handled properly, it has what it takes to affect families and the nation at large. So, we are very grateful to be part of this first ever Africa Health Harm Reduction Conference.

“Post Covid-19 era hasn’t been easy for the nation and citizens, and we really need to be in the forefront advising citizens to refrain from engaging themselves into activities that can bring harm to themselves, their families and the nation.

“When we go back to Malawi, we will strive to implement what we learn here so as to move together in one direction with the rest of countries who have been part of this conference,” he said.

The conference has been organized by Moroccan Association of Addictive Medicine and Associated Pathologies (MAPA) and will tackle a range of health-related issues.

The conference has attracted more than 57 countries, African officials, internationals, ministers, ambassadors and many prominent personnel.

According to the organizers, the conference is part of the dynamics of the global health system and the growing need to reform it following the COVID-19 pandemic with a view to crisis anticipation and risk management.

Morocco, being the host nation, has initiated the adoption of strategies and projects concerning the overhaul of the national health system in order to ensure an effective implementation of the Royal project relating to the generalization of social protection.

The event aims to create an African platform for enriching exchange in the field of public health and risk prevention based on the experience of different countries and the points of view of national and international experts, in order to share Moroccan experience and skills, thus helping to determine best practices at the level of governance.

The participants of this event will draw relevant recommendations based on the adoption of policies and strategies for the reduction of health risks through the improvement of prevention systems, the change in consumption patterns and the promotion of a lifestyle healthy.

This conference will be animated by roundtables and workshops which will revolve around several axes including the budgetary challenges of the health system in Africa, the importance of human resources, the question of public-private partnership as well as the digitization of the health sector with the innovations of the digital era.

In addition, a workshop will specifically be dedicated to discussing public and mental health policy in Africa and procedures relating to the social determinants of health and health risk reduction.

An interesting reflection will be made on the role of future medicine in Africa, and its impact on the future of African societies.

The three-day conference will also focus on ways to minimize harm reduction by applying reduction principles in healthcare setting.

Some notable speakers at the conference are; Dr. David Sweanor, Dr. Junichiro James Kazama, Dr. Magatte Ndaw, Dr, Oumara Mamane, Dr. Wamumbi Joel Sawa, Pr. MN Chetty and many more.

What is Harm Reduction?

It refers to policies, programs and practices that aim to minimize the negative health, social and legal impacts associated with drug use, drug policies and drug laws. It is grounded in justice and human rights by focusing on positive change and working with people without judgement, coercion, discrimination or requiring that people stop using drugs as a precondition support.

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