Dr Shin launches Cooperation Strategy in Cook Islands

Cook Islands Minister of Health Mr Nandi Glassie and WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific Dr Shin Young-soo during the launch of the Country Cooperation Strategy for 2013-2017.

Dr Shin Young-soo, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for the Western Pacific, and Cook Islands Minister of Health Mr Nandi Glassie signed and launched a new five-year country cooperation strategy.

The ceremony took place here on 2 October. It followed the unveiling on 23 September 2012 in Hanoi, Viet Nam, of the Multi-Country Cooperation Strategy for the Pacific, to which Cook Islands also subscribes.

The ceremony reflected the growing partnership between the WHO and Cook Islands.

Under the strategy, WHO technical support will focus on:

  • helping to develop human resources for the health sector to ensure qualified staff on Rarotonga and the outer islands;
  • reducing the burden of noncommunicable diseases through a variety of interventions to ensure that the population makes informed choices;
  • helping to strengthen family, maternal, adolescent, child, elderly and disability-related health programmes;
  • reducing the impact of communicable diseases, particularly sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, vectorborne diseases and other infections;
  • helping to review, update or develop legislation, policies and guidelines in accordance with the International Health Regulations (2005) and other health agreements; and
  • helping to build capacities to reduce morbidity and mortality from road accidents.

Dr Shin lauded the significant achievements made by Cook Islands in eliminating many communicable diseases and improving child and maternal health. Nevertheless, he said that more needs to be done to control the unacceptably high prevalence of noncommunicable diseases, which are the leading causes of death in Cook Islands.

Mr Glassie expressed that there were now expectations to address the problem of noncommunicable diseases.