Fondation Merieux

A family foundation dedicated to fighting infectious diseases

The Madagascan Minister of Health meets with Lyon organizations

23 May 2007, Lyon (France)

On Thursday 22 May 2007, whilst en route to Geneva for the WHO Executive Board meeting, the Madagascan Minister of Health, Doctor Robinson Jean-Louis visited Fondation Mérieux to give a presentation of his government’s Health Action Plan to about fifteen representatives of organizations working in health in Madagascar.

Objectives of the Madagascan Health Action Plan

"Our president wanted each of our government departments to have a five-year action plan, with targets to be achieved and commitments to be met." said Doctor Jean-Louis. The challenges to be addresses by the Department of Health, Family Planning and Social Welfare are to:

  • Provide quality health services to all;

  • Eliminate the main communicable and non-communicable diseases;

  • Win the fight against HIV / AIDS;

  • Implement an effective family planning strategy;

  • Reduce infanto-juvenile, maternal and neonatal mortality;

  • Improve nutrition and food security;

  • Provide the population with drinking water and promote hygienic and sanitary practices;

  • Improve support to the very poor and vulnerable;

  • Promote the equality and empowerment of women.

"Our five-year budget, from 2007 to 2011, will be about 1.2 billion dollars and we need another 600 million dollars to achieve our objectives" said the minister from Madagascar. "We also depend very much on aid from our partners, in particular our French partners."

Department support for organizations working in Madagascar

After the presentation, the minister held a question and answer session with those present.

The project to set up a pharmacological course in Antananarivo (the capital of Madagascar) was discussed. Several of those present at the meeting were involved with this project, including BSF, the Grenoble Faculty of Pharmacy, Fondation Pierre Fabre, Région Rhône Alpes and Fondation Merieux. "It is a far-reaching project and we are all working together to bring this school into existence and train top-level students." said one of the BSF managers. "But its success will only be achieved if it is properly coordinated between us all." According to him, it is up to the Madagascan Department of Health to fulfill this role of coordinator.

Discussions also turned to the problems encountered by BSF in working with certain provincial hospitals where the managers are sometimes unhelpful when the association visits their establishment. With the directors having been replaced, there is little, the Minister of Health assured the BSF, that should impede them now in their activities.

Doctor Jean-Louis also talked about mental health and reassured the AINA association working in Madagascar that this health problem was one of his department's priorities, particularly for the non-communicable diseases department.

One of Fondation Mérieux's consultants in Madagascar also remarked to the minister that the new laboratory procedure codes propose higher examination costs than in private institutions! « We are obviously going to look more closely into this because we of course cannot be more expensive than the private sector » said the minister.

Doctor Jean-Louis ended the meeting by saying again how valuable the aid provided by French organizations, particularly those in Lyon, was to improving the health system in his country.


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