What was the objective of this seventh annual scientific conference of The French Medical Institute for Mothers & Children (FMIC) ? Enable all the Afghan people to have a healthy and sustainable life by 2030.
Dr Ferozuddin Feroz, the Afghanistan Minister of Public Health, joined doctors, nurses and scholars, the Aga Khan Development Network and University and La Chaîne de l’Espoir, in order to discuss the most relevant health proposals that could rapidly and sustainably improve health services in Afghanistan.
A great deal of progress has been made to increase life expectancy, reduce mortality rates, increase access to drinking water and sanitation, reduce malaria, poliomyelitis and fight against the spread of HIV. However, much work remains to be done to ensure a healthy life for all.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over six million children die each year before their fifth birthday, particularly in the less developed regions.
In Afghanistan, the situation is tragic: infectious diseases, maternity, child mortality and malnutrition account for more than half of deaths and disability in the country (WHO). One woman dies every 2 hours and 97 children out of 1,000 does not reach the age of five.
Dr Ferozuddin Feroz, the Afghanistan Minister of Public Health, appeared to be very involved during the conference: “Quality healthcare is essential to all of us at some time in our life. It is vital to be healthy. To be healthy is to be wealthy, regardless how many gold or silver coins you have, he said, quoting Mahatma Gandhi. The role of this conference is to help us identify the areas that deserve our attention. We hope that with our partners such as the Aga Khan Development Network and the French government, we can focus on these issues”, he concluded.
Dr Eric Cheysson, chairman of La Chaîne de l'Espoir, added that a scientific event like this one is an opportunity to recognise the contribution of researchers to the improvement of the health and well-being of the people in Afghanistan.
The event was financed by the Health Action Plan for Afghanistan (HAPA) - a consortium formed by the Canadian government, the Agence française de Développement (French Agency for Development), the Aga Khan Foundation, Canada and FMIC.