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Mon Sep 26 04:00:42 SAST 2016

Humanity's well-being needs investment in a more extensive health workforce: Zuma

TMG Digital | 21 September, 2016 07:41
President Jacob Zuma addresses the Opening Plenary of the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the migration in New York, United States of America. File photo
Image by: GCIS/ South African Government - Flickr

Dedicating funds to the training and deploying health workers and the delivery of the services they provide should been seen as a “prudent investment” and not “as a cost to the economy”.

“It will yield substantial dividends in terms of job creation and economic growth‚” President Jacob Zuma said at the launch of the United Nations High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth on Tuesday.

Zuma_UN  Summit.jpg

President Jacob Zuma holds a bilateral meeting with the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on the side lines of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, United States. Photo GCIS

As “communicable diseases know no boundaries and non-communicable diseases are on the increase”‚ the president said that “to protect ourselves and enhance humanity's well-being‚ we need to invest in a more extensive and appropriately aligned health workforce”.

“We also need to provide access to affordable and effective medicines and other medical products that will ensure a healthy global population‚ which is able to contribute to global economic growth.”

Zuma said the commission would be making 10 recommendations to UN member states‚ “ranging from training needs‚ continuing education and the need to focus on primary health care”‚ and urged them to “prioritise these…over the next five years”.

This‚ he added‚ “will greatly increase our chances of meeting several of the goals we set ourselves in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

Zuma also expressed his appreciation to France’s President François Hollande‚ “with whom I had the privilege to serve as co-chair of the commission”.

Zuma was‚ according to the Africa correspondent for The Globe and Mail‚ late for Tuesday’s launch so Hollande went ahead without him.

Geoffrey York ‏@geoffreyyork tweeted: “Zuma is late to the UN health commission that he co-chairs. France's president begins without him.”

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