By Bader Al-Bedah
KUWAIT, July 28 (KUNA) -- World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has praised Kuwait's backing for the organization and vulnerable world countries in countering the coronavirus pandemic.
"Thank you once again, Your Excellency, for Kuwait's strong support for WHO and global health, and thank you for your continuing solidarity with the most vulnerable across the world," Ghebreyesus said during a joint press conference with Kuwait Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah on the sideline of his visit to Kuwait Wednesday.
WHO chief noted that Kuwait is also one of the world's largest humanitarian donors and is WHO's seventh largest Member State contributor. We greatly value this support." "Last year, Kuwait was one of the first countries to respond to WHO's COVID-19 appeal, contributing 60 million US dollars to WHO's Strategic and Preparedness Response Plan," he noted.
He added over the years, Kuwait's support has enabled WHO to provide critical medicines for millions of people in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq and many other countries.
Ghebreyesus said that he was delighted to be able to visit WHO's new office in Kuwait, which was opened last month. As he said, WHO will be looking forward to further strengthening the collaboration with Kuwait through its presence in the country.
"WHO's mission is to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable - and our new country office reflects our commitment to serving the people of Kuwait as we do in every country," said Ghebreyesus.
"I know that the pandemic has also affected you here in Kuwait, I offer my deep condolences to all Kuwaitis for the family, friends and colleagues you have lost, I offer my deep admiration and respect to your health workers for their tireless service and sacrifice," said the Director-General in regards to the situation in Kuwait. He affirmed the organization's commitment to support Kuwait to 'suppress' transmission, save lives, recover and rebuild. "I'm pleased to see that COVID-19 cases and test positivity rates are now declining after the recent peak in June. I urge you to continue, and not to let down your guard. As you know, the highly transmissible Delta variant is now wreaking havoc around the world," he stressed. WHO Director-General renewed his appreciation to the Kuwaiti government and the people for their warm welcome, and that he was honored for this visit.
For his part, Kuwait's Health Minister Sheikh Dr. Basel welcomed the WHO Director-General and his accompanying delegation in their first visit to Kuwait as part of the cooperation between Kuwait and the organization, and to discuss ways to boost collaboration.
He praised the organization's vital efforts in supporting the international community in facing health different health challenges, especially the latest COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier today, the WHO chief met with His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and other officials.
He also visited Kuwait Center for Coronavirus Vaccination Center and to the Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah Hospital for COVID-19 patients, accompanied by a number of top Ministry of Health officials. (end) bb