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World Health Day: More than two thousand people walk for health

On April 6, 2024, more than two thousand people gathered in Luanda to take part in a walk the talk for health, a landmark event marking World Health Day. Organised by the Ministry of Health and the Luanda Provincial Government, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), this five-kilometre walk from the Port to Luanda Bay not only celebrated advances in public health but also highlighted present and future challenges calling for joint work and the strengthening of partnerships to improve the health of the Angolan population.

The event began with moments of physical exercise, followed by a vibrant walk. Along the route, various local authorities, such as the Secretary of State for Public Health, Dr Carlos Pinto de Sousa, the Deputy Provincial Governor of Luanda, Cristino Mário Ndeitunga, the National Director of Public Health, Dr Helga de Freitas, the Provincial Director of Health, Dr Manuel Varela, the Acting WHO Representative in Angola, Dr Yoti Zabulon, and members of the diplomatic corps marched together with health professionals, students and members of civil society youth associations, conveying a sense of inclusion and unity along the way.

This inclusive event marked a significant milestone in celebrating the progress of public health in Angola. The number of health professionals has seen a notable increase in recent years, with the sector now comprising 40.5 per cent of the workforce. As highlighted by the Secretary of State for Public Health, this positive trend instils optimism and hope for a healthier future.

"The increase in the workforce in recent years has been accompanied by the specialisation of 266 doctors and 602 in post-medical training", said Dr Carlos Pinto de Sousa, Secretary of State for Public Health.

Likewise, Dr. Manuel Varela guaranteed that the Luanda Provincial Health Office assisted 100,000 people last year in preventive healthcare.

The World Health Organization took the opportunity to reiterate its ongoing commitment to collaborate closely with the government and its partners to tackle the main challenges still affecting the national health system. This includes initiatives such as repositioning primary health care and strengthening community health, with the aim of ensuring that everyone has access to the best possible level of health and well-being. During his speech, the Acting WHO Representative in Angola emphasized the importance of joint action to ensure equitable access to health services and defend the basic rights of all citizens.

''It is imperative that we work together and united to guarantee the basic human rights of health and well-being, dignity and a good quality of life for everyone, regardless of who they are, where they live or what they do.'' - Dr. Yoti Zabulon, Acting WHO Representative in Angola.

The deputy provincial governor for Technical Services and Infrastructure, Cristino Mário Ndeitunga, also expressed the Luanda Provincial Government's commitment to humanising health services and improving living conditions in the province.

To round off the celebration, the event also featured a vibrant zumba class, live music and an exhibition of health and wellness products, which was visited by local authorities.

In a world where the right to health is constantly challenged, events like this are potent reminders that together, we can make the right to health a reality for everyone.


Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) - Angola.
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