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Monday, May 23, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 21 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Last Wednesday, 18 May, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care spoke at the 64th World Health Assembly underway in Geneva, Switzerland from 16 to 24 May. His address was dedicated to the theme "Guaranteeing Universal Access to Medical Care".

  "The World Health Report 2010", he said, "emphasizes health system financing as the conduit to the much desired universal coverage in health service provision. It also notes with concern that despite the progress made in some countries, on the whole, we are still a long way from universal coverage. This sad fact highlights the need for a true global solidarity, in which high income countries do not only promise, but effectively meet their commitments on development assistance".

  Then, citing the papal encyclical "Caritas in veritate", he noted that, in it, Benedict XVI asserted that "more economically developed nations should do all they can to allocate larger portions of their gross domestic product to development aid, thus respecting the obligations that the international community has undertaken in this regard".

  As regards the World Health Organization's Draft HIV Strategy 2011-2015, "the Holy See appreciates the emphasis laid on eliminating new HIV infections in children and expanding and optimizing HIV treatment and care for them, which up to date has been lagging behind the progress made in treating adults. In this area, the archbishop emphasized "the importance of education in changing human behavior and responsible living as a key element of the prevention campaign".

  Lastly, the president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care affirmed that his delegation "fully shares the concerns ... for child injury prevention. ... the Holy See would like to appeal to the international community to support transfer of knowledge on measures and instruments for the prevention of child injury to low- and middle-income countries, where 95% of child injury deaths occur", oftentimes provoked by "long civil wars".
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