Malaysia teams up with WHO to improve health for all

WHO/Y. Shimizu

Malaysians celebrated better health and hopes for an even healthier tomorrow with today's launch of the Malaysia–WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2016–2020.

With the strategy, WHO and the Ministry of Health renewed their commitment to work together on priority issues, including universal health coverage and other Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) health targets.

"Success stories in health are plentiful in Malaysia," said Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. "Death rates among Malaysian children and infants are now as low as in many high-income countries."

Citizens give high marks to the Government's investments to improve health services in recent years. The country, which is aiming to reach high-income status by 2020, boasts one of the lowest rates of catastrophic health expenditure of any middle-income country.

Malaysia is on the right path, according to global health experts.

Immunization rates are high. Malaysia is moving towards malaria elimination by 2020. HIV incidence has dropped by more than half from 2002 to 2014 and the shifting causes of new HIV infections are being identified.

The country continues to bear a heavy noncommunicable disease burden. NCDs account for nearly three out of four deaths in Malaysia.

"This mounting challenge will only get bigger with economic development and an ageing population," noted Dr Shin.

Dr Shin launched the Malaysia–WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2016–2020 together with the Malaysian Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam, at a ceremony in the capital of Kuala Lumpur.

The strategy sets out a vision health system development that builds on achievements while addressing emerging challenges and leaving no one behind. The strategy aligns with Malaysia's needs and priorities, as outlined in the 11th Malaysia Plan 2016–2020 and SDG targets.

WHO and the Ministry of Health will focus efforts:

  • to facilitate collaboration across sectors and support coordination to address health risks and challenges that come from outside the health sector;
  • to support efforts to make the health system more resilient and responsive, building towards universal health coverage and addressing the needs of an ageing population;
  • to strengthen policies and capacities to assess, manage and monitor health risks and chronic conditions, which will be critical for addressing NCDs and environmental health issues, including disasters; and
  • to share Malaysia's expertise and experiences internationally for the benefit of other countries.

Dr Shin stressed WHO's commitment going forward: "As a longstanding partner in health, we stand ready to support you in achieving even better health outcomes for the nearly 30 million people of this great country."

For further information, please contact:

Mr Ruel E. Serrano
Public Information Office
Telephone: +632 528 9993
Email: serranor@who.int

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