HM THE KING ADDRESSES A MESSAGE TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE FIRST AFRICAN HEALTH HARM REDUCTION CONFERENCE

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Wednesday 16 November 2022-  His Majesty King Mohammed VI, may God assist Him, addressed, on November 16, 2022, a message to participants in the First African Health Harm Reduction Conference, which is held from November 16 to 18 in Marrakech.

Here follows the full text of the Royal Message, which was read by Minister of Health and Social Protection, Khalid Ait Taleb:
"Praise be to God,
May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet, His Kith and Kin
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Morocco, your second home, and to address this First African Health Harm Reduction Conference, which is being held in Marrakesh, and in which a number of distinguished African and international experts are taking part.
First of all, I should like to thank you for participating in this African gathering, to which I was happy to grant my patronage. I am sure your conference will contribute to further integration on our continent.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This first African conference is being held at a time when the world is witnessing a series of interrelated crises involving security, economic and environmental issues that have social, humanitarian and health repercussions.
I hope your conference will provide an opportunity to come up with collective answers to the threats looming over the world today, as a result of epidemics and food crises. These epidemics and crises are a danger to public health - especially among unprotected segments of the population - given climate problems, drought, and the scarcity or absence of water resources in many parts of our continent.
I hope Africans will pool efforts to tackle the various threats our continent is faced with. They require us to adopt proactive and preventive policies, in addition to mustering the means available to preserve the health and dignity of African citizens.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Realizing the need to provide for the health security of all Moroccans, we have set out, in the Kingdom of Morocco, to ensure universal social protection coverage, starting with the expansion of compulsory health coverage to include all citizens, subscription to pension schemes for the active population, universal access to family allowances, and compensation for loss of employment.
This project is nothing less than a social revolution in view of its direct and tangible effects on improving the living conditions of citizens, preserving their dignity and ensuring equitable access to health and social services as part of a proximity policy.
The aim is to achieve balanced development, as well as social and regional justice.
Morocco is ready to share its experience and know-how in this area with African sister nations.
Since I ascended the throne of my revered ancestors, I have applied a new, geo-strategic approach within the framework of South-South partnerships. It is based on solidarity, cooperation and common interests to benefit African citizens.
I consider health to be one of the greatest challenges in Africa. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the need for collective action and for the scaling up of projects. It has also highlighted the need for equipping our countries with the necessary infrastructure in this field, and for making sure African peoples have access to the necessary medicines and vaccines to protect themselves against various diseases and epidemics.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Convinced that the citizens' health is paramount in promoting solidarity and closer bonds between peoples, in addition to being crucial for effective South-South cooperation, the Kingdom of Morocco has been providing scholarships to train African doctors, pharmacists and medical staff at various Moroccan universities. My country has also launched several projects in many African countries, building clinics and hospitals, and sending humanitarian aid, including equipment, medical supplies and medicines.
With regard to the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, Morocco has donated significant quantities of equipment, protection and prevention products as well as medicines, which were via airlifts to more than twenty African countries.
In parallel, the Kingdom of Morocco has been supporting constructive multilateral initiatives and has promoted joint action at the continental level in this regard. My country has been doing all it can to contribute to the development of an integrated African health model. Morocco has also been actively engaged, alongside all partners, in the efforts to build a coherent pan-African health system based on research and development. It has also sought to make sure the material and human resources needed are available, relying on relevant proactive programs and policies.
I want to stress the need to embrace technological progress in the health sector, and to make sure African health systems are keeping abreast of development in this area.
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Once again, welcome to the Kingdom of Morocco. We look forward to your constructive contribution to the proceedings of this First African Health Harm Reduction Conference, and on ways to prevent or tackle them.
I hope your conference will come up with important recommendations in this field, and help develop a common strategy to reduce health risks in Africa.
I pray that Almighty God grant you every success.
Thank you.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah wabarakatuh."

Sourse: MAP