Honourable Tuilaepa Fatialofa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi
6th Annual Bilateral Health Summit
November 11 to 12, 2015
Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Sogi APIA
I am pleased to extend a very warm welcome to his Venerable Reverend Utufua Naseri, the Delegates and distinguished guests, to the 6th Annual Bilateral Health Summit this year. It has been a Journey since 2010 when the summits were initiated and I am pleased that the spirit in which it was found still continues to this day. The theme for me is notable and timely, as it not only reflects the spirit of the SAMOA Pathway 2014 but also the Apia Outcome of 2013 and that of Samoa’s Health Sector Plan 2008-2018.
“Sustaining Partnerships in Health – The Samoan Way” speaks volumes. I am convinced that for far too long we have imitated and inherited imported forms of development, lifestyles, ethics, food, dress, thinking, etc.etc. Over the years these have taken a toll of the vitality of our own ways, of our pride in our Samoaness, our self-confidence and self-respect. I am equally convinced that for our two Samoas, we must rediscover and reaffirm our faith in our values – the vitality of our past and our culture so that we may come to appreciate our own uniqueness. That in essence directs that we should look at things that give us binding force to doing things our own way, and develop our own solutions to our problems.
We meet in interesting times. We meet at a time of challenge and controversy. The choices are clear! Ambivalence or simply indecisive and uncertainties do not have a place against the background of urgent health problems which confront our small islands today. Thus we should expect clear guidance founded on informed lifestyle choices for maintaining health and wellbeing. We as leaders have an obligation to our future generations, to assure sustainable development and sustainable partnerships.
As I stated in the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2011, non-communicable diseases would wreak havoc on the world’s economies if we do not urgently address these. I urged then, that we needed to include the reduction of NCDs in our work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. That was acknowledged in order to assure that the central and cross-cutting nature of NCDs is continued post the 2015 Development agenda. We need to strengthen our national partnerships in our journey towards improved health and wellbeing, and build on this as the foundation to launch our regional and global development partnerships.
Over the past summits, you have been deliberating and dialoguing on health system strengthening founded on Health Promotion and Primary Health Care. We ought to acknowledge that they are topics that we should consistently discuss in order for us to translate them well into our everyday work and lives. It also means that we do not stop looking at ways to enhance health systems based on Health Promotion and Primary Health Care, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs recently introduced.
Samoa recognizes that progress towards the achievement of the SDGs, is an incremental process. The Samoa health system also understands, that measurement of progress is not always continuous, as data sets of indicators often come from periodic surveys, that are sometimes five or ten years apart.
For me as the Prime Minister of Samoa, a Whole of Country, One Health, Integrated Health System’s approach based on the values of health promotion and Primary Health Care is the most effective and sustainable way for Samoa. A robust health system provides the right services, both personal and population-based, in the right places, at the right times to all of those who are in need of those services, will go a long way.
We have all in the public and private health sector collectively champion affirmative action in order to implement the health promotion and primary health care strategies, so as to realize the Healthy Island vision of our Pacific Health Ministers. Hence our health sector plan vision of a A HEALTHY SAMOA.
The challenges for the health sector, is the ability to articulate work in partnership, which involves Networking, Coordination, Cooperating, and Collaboration.
- I would like at this stage, to thank you all for your contribution in the services, whether it be health promotion or health care for the people of Samoa. I wish to make visual acknowledgement of partnership arrangement that we have agreed on this year, that is indeed work in progress and I would like to ask all of you in the private sector to reciprocate the effort from the MOH and the public sector by providing the necessary information that is needed in order to improve our health information system for Samoa
- Sustainable development, improved health outcomes, economic growth are concepts that we all aspire towards and we firmly believe that the way to achieve this is through committed partnerships both new and existing, between and across all stakeholders is vital to make these aspirations a reality.
Faafetai Tele/Thank You