Disease prevention and health promotion are the pillars of health systems

Spain’s Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, called for the unity of all the member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to carry out the construction of a healthier world, hand in hand with disease prevention and health promotion as “pillars” of health systems.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that when we come together, unprecedented progress is possible. Let’s work together to face current and future challenges”, defended the Spanish Minister of Health during her speech at the 72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe held in Tel Aviv (Israel).

Darias began her speech by condemning Russia’s unjustifiable and illegal aggression against Ukraine and reiterated Spain’s commitment to collaborate and support the health needs of the Ukrainian people.

The minister has highlighted the lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic leaves us; one of them, the need to improve public health systems so that countries are better prepared to face possible health crises and more resilient in the face of future health emergencies.

The challenges that lie ahead are antimicrobial resistance, mental health, continuing to fight diseases that seemed eradicated and have returned, such as monkeypox.

Likewise, she stressed that it is essential to strengthen the cooperation of States to develop a multilateral response to present and future health challenges.

Darias has indicated that the current health emergencies in the WHO European region, such as the monkeypox outbreak, demonstrate the importance of public health and the urgent need to improve the global architecture for preparedness and response to health emergencies.

“We must continue working together in a shared organisation from multilateralism to provide the answers that citizens need to have strong and more resilient public health systems”, she stressed.

Likewise, she has assured that it is necessary to continue developing a solid response to COVID-19 for autumn and winter, through the Vaccination Strategy.

In this sense, she recalled that Spain, with more than 92.8% of the population with a complete vaccination schedule (although once again forgetting to mention that only 54% have had theor booster), will continue with the Vaccination Strategy against SARS-CoV-2, while new surveillance systems continue to be implemented. and reinforcing the capacity of the National Health System.

Therefore, Darias has assured Spain’s firm support for shared priorities and the need to develop specific initiatives aligned with the health actions undertaken by the European Union.

Among the priorities, the minister has cited prevention and health promotion as one of the fundamental pillars of health systems; Mental Health, with Strategies such as the one updated in Spain, taking into account the effects that the pandemic is leaving. In addition, she has mentioned Digital Health and environmental health as future challenges for joint work.