#BEATNCDS- Launch of the PEN Programme in the Maldives
14th August 2017- To reinforce progress towards 2025 non communicable disease targets in the country, HE Abdulla Nazim Ibrahim together with WHO Representative Dr Arvind Mathur and Director General of Public Health Ms Maimoona Abu Bakr launched the Package of Essential Non Communicable (PEN) Disease Programme for Primary Health Care in the Maldives in an event organized by Health Protection Agency with support and collaboration from WHO Maldives.
Non Communicable Disease (NCDs) are a growing burden in the island nation, posing a huge challenge to health care provision and health expenditure. Despite the challenges, many major milestones have been achieved such as the Tobacco Control Act in 2010, development of multi-sectoral action plan on prevention and control of NCDS in 2015, and tobacco cessation toolkit for health care providers, all with support and contribution of WHO.
In this regard, the launch of the PEN package is also a wider step towards reducing these burdens. PEN offers opportunity to strengthen primary health care level in the Maldives by providing minimization in the gaps and increasing utilization of NCD services to those in vulnerable, remote settings in the society. It offers the opportunity to innovate health service delivery and to improve health systems capacity, quality and efficiency.
Speaking at the launching ceremony, Dr Arvind Mathur, WHO Representative welcomed and supported the implementation of PEN Interventions in the Maldives with optimism. He also applauded the inclusion of essential level NCD services recommended for WHO-PEN already being available at the health centers at primary health care level in the Maldives
The Honorable Minister of Health Mr Abdulla Nazim emphasized the highest level political commitment by the government of Maldives to Beat non communicable diseases in the country. “The government of Maldives recognizes health promotion and NCD prevention as a key approach to improve population health and is committed to work in this regard.” Minister quoted. He thanked the WHO for their support and collaboration towards adapting a Maldivian package of essential NCDs as an important and country specific product targeted to fulfill a global and regional goal.
As a trusted and reliable partner, WHO takes this opportunity to congratulate the Ministry of Health for the commendable step to further beat NCDS, and improving healthcare services at the primary care level.