Kazakhstan, WHO launch Global Conference on Primary Health Care

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivers the opening speech at the Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana, Kazakhstan, Monday. From official website of president of the Republic of Kazakhstan

By Kim Hyun-bin

ASTANA, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan and the World Health Organization (WHO) kicked off the two-day Global Conference on Primary Health Care, Monday.

"Primary health care is one of the most important concepts in public health. It's the most inclusive, effective and efficient path to universal health coverage. Today's conference rightly focuses on putting policy into practice, by putting country-level evidence and experiences," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

The successful implementation of a primary healthcare approach, underscored by Ghebreyesus, hinges on four critical components.

First, it necessitates an unwavering commitment to political leadership, grounded in an understanding of the extensive benefits that primary healthcare can offer in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Second, this approach requires the establishment of robust governance structures, inclusive policies, and regulations that promote partnerships, community leadership, and mutual accountability.

Furthermore, it encompasses the efficient mobilization and allocation of resources to ensure equitable access to high-quality care while mitigating financial burdens.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks at the Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana, Kazakhstan, Monday. From official website of president of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Lastly, it highlights the significance of active engagement from communities and other stakeholders in identifying challenges, devising solutions, and prioritizing policy actions.

The conference also serves as a means to evaluate the progress made in fulfilling the commitments outlined in the Astana Declaration marking its fifth anniversary this year, emphasizing tangible results in universal health coverage and other key health-related areas.

The Astana Declaration, adopted during the 2018 Global Conference on Primary Health Care, reaffirms the importance of primary healthcare as a cornerstone in achieving universal health coverage. It emphasizes the need for strong political commitment and leadership, calling for investments in primary healthcare to ensure essential services for all.

From 2022 to 2023, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 200 events, including seminars, conferences, and training sessions, have taken place, addressing critical healthcare topics such as immunization, COVID-19 prevention, the battle against tobacco, alcohol, and drug addiction, infection prevention, and the digitalization of healthcare.

Kazakhstan has been actively engaged in WHO governing bodies, participating in sessions of the World Health Assembly, the Regional Committee for Europe, the Executive Committee, the Standing Committee of the Regional Committee, and other provisional entities.

The support and assistance from WHO have significantly contributed to the protection and advancement of healthcare for the people of Kazakhstan, underscoring the importance of international collaboration in addressing public health challenges.

Kim Hyun-bin hyunbin@koreatimes.co.kr

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