Darias: disease prevention and health promotion are the pillars of health systems

News - 2022.9.12

Minister Carolina Darias called for the unity of all member states of the World Health Organization (WHO) to build a healthier world, with disease prevention and health promotion as the "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," said the Spanish Minister for Health.

Darias began her speech by condemning Russia's unjustifiable and illegal aggression against Ukraine and reiterated Spain's commitment in collaborating with and supporting the health needs of the Ukrainian people.

The minister highlighted the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, one of them being the need to improve public health systems so that countries are better prepared to cope with potential health crises and become more resilient to future health emergencies.

The challenges ahead are antimicrobial resistance, mental health, continuing to combat diseases that seemed to be eradicated but have returned, such as monkeypox, she said, stressing that it is essential to strengthen cooperation between states to develop a multilateral response to present and future health challenges.

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

"We must continue to work together in a shared organisation based on multilateralism to provide citizens with answers to have stronger and more resilient public health systems," she stressed.

She also said that a robust response to COVID-19 needs to continue to be developed for the autumn and winter, through the Vaccination Strategy.

In this regard, she recalled that Spain, with more than 92.8% of the population fully vaccinated, will continue with the SARS-CoV-2 vaccination strategy, while at the same time continuing to implement new surveillance systems and strengthening the capacity of the National Health System.

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

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

Non official translation