Income Inequality Major Threat to Global Macro-Economic, Social Stability
Addis Ababa, April 25, 2012 (WIC) - Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said income inequality has been recognized as a major threat to global macro-economic and social stability.
Speaking at the opening of the 13th World Congress on Public Health here on Monday Meles said inequality in incomes results in massive inequality in access to health services and health outcomes.
He said one of the most debilitating outcomes of increased income inequality could therefore be an even higher level of inequality in health.
Ethiopia tried to tackle the problem from both the income and health services end. For the past eight years Ethiopia has achieved an average growth rate of a little more than 11 per cent per annum.
Meles said interestingly the benefit of the growth in GDP has been broadly shared.
The latest UNDP report suggested that Ethiopia has the most equitable distribution of income in Africa and is one of the ten countries in the world with the most equitable distribution in income.
Meles said all development efforts in the health sector have concentrated on providing free primary health care services to all Ethiopians particularly those in the rural areas and on prevention through health extension program.
As a result of the efforts and the remarkable support of partners 90 per cent of Ethiopians have now access to primary health care services.
Health care facilities have quadrupled over the past few years, the Premier said, adding, infant and child mortality significantly declined while there has been a modest but encouraging decline in maternal mortality rates.
Use of family planning services have quadrupled and there has been a remarkable decline in infectious diseases such as Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.
He said a lot needs to be done to achieve all the health related MDGs and to continuously improve access to and quality of health services in Ethiopia.
I am however confident that with your support and that of our other partners, we will achieve our goals and make a significant contribution to the quest for equitable health outcomes in Africa, Meles said.
The Addis Ababa Declaration on Global Health will serve as a useful reference in guiding professionals, countries and the world at large in the design and implementation of policies and strategies that will help to achieve the MDGs and equitable health outcomes, the Premier said.
Health Minister Dr. Tewodros Adhanom on his part said more than 4000 participants drawn from 116 countries are taking part in the organized under the theme Towards Global Health Equity: Opportunities and Threats.
Dr. Tewodros said the number of participants is more than expected and this helps to promote Ethiopia's successful health extension program.
President of the Ethiopian Public Health Association (EPHA), Dr. Tewabech Bishaw said the African Federation of Public Health Associations has decided to establish its headquarters in Addis Ababa.
Dr. Tewabech said this will help Ethiopia to share experiences and conduct researches. (allafrica.com)
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