Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen on Thursday attended the Extra-Ordinary Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Steering Committee on Health concerning the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Health Ministers of OIC member states, as well as health sector experts, joined the two-hour meeting conducted via video conference, to discuss measures to strengthen joint action in order to improve public health in member countries.
In addition to Maldives, the OIC Steering Committee on Health includes member countries from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pakistan, Mauritania, Chad, Turkey, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sudan.
During the meeting, Minister Ameen highlighted challenges faced by Maldives due to its geographic nature and dispersion of islands. He particularly noted that the decision to close its borders to tourists and cutting off the country's main source of income was a difficult, yet decisive measure to prevent the rapid spread of COVID-19.
During the meeting, the World Health Organisation (WHO), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Global Fund and other development actors presented global efforts to combat the virus.
Following deliberations on measures taken to combat the pandemic, an outcome document was adopted at the end of the meeting.
The document calls on OIC members to strengthen the exchange of information between states and provide mutual assistance in securing an adequate supply of personal protective equipment and diagnostic kits in addition to essential medical supplies.