Health Minister Trumpets Triumphs

Health Minister Trumpets TriumphsHealth Minister Trumpets Triumphs

Minister of Health and Medical Education, Seyed Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi, on the occasion of the year-ending explained the positive measures taken by the ministry in the current calendar year (ends March 20). Deleting palm oil which is high in saturated fat from dairy products, reduction in palm oil imports by 217,000 tons (39%) and making efforts to increase taxes on tobacco products are among the effective measures taken by the ministry.

Hashemi, responding to some criticisms about the “treatment-centric” approach of the ministry said “If we had started the Health Reform Plan, launched in May 2014, with ‘healthcare and prevention approach’, some people would have criticized the ministry for ‘ignoring the problems of medical tariffs and treatment costs’.”

However, the fact is that the ministry has neither neglected prevention nor health care. In the past, no nutritional supplements were provided to children younger than two years and pregnant women; but now supplements are offered to the two groups all across the country, he said quoted by the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA).

Also, pentavalent vaccine import into the country has been allowed after ten years, as it is an effective, preventive measure in immunization of children. Pentavalent  is five individual vaccines conjugated in one to actively protect infants from 5 potentially deadly diseases including Haemophilus Influenza type B, Whooping Cough, Tetanus, Hepatitis B and Diphtheria.

Based on evaluations made earlier by the Iranian Islamic Human Rights Commission, the health minister topped among other officials with regard to eliciting public trust in the administrative system. “The health minister has put a number of comprehensive plans into operation nationwide, which have significantly enhanced the health sector,” said Payam Tayyebi, director of the commission.

“We also hope that the Majlis (parliament) cooperates in allocation of greater funding to the ministry in the next year, so that more plans in line with social health and disease prevention can be implemented.”

 Other Measures

The other important measures taken by the health ministry are: providing basic health services for two million people living in informal settlements starting from December 2014; and  allocation of a health service station and a health expert for every 4000 people with each station having two physicians and one nutritionist, psychologist and environmental health specialist each. “We are making all efforts to achieve our goal of providing health services for the remaining 8 million people living in informal settlements within the next six months,” Hashemi said.

Also monitoring of pesticides in fruits and vegetables and cooperation with the agriculture jihad ministry, is a measure taken by the ministry for promotion of a healthy society.