Launch of the World Health Report 2006

World Health Day
7 April 2006

Honourable Lupando Mwape Vice President, and Honourable Hifikepunye Pohamba Prime Minister of Namibia.
Honourable Sylvia Masebo Minister of Health
Ladies and gentlemen, Muli bwanji bonse!

Thank you for this wonderful display. And thank you for your wonderful welcome.

Today is World Health Day. It is an honour for us to be here in Lusaka to mark this occasion. Today, Zambia will be in the eyes of the world as we link up internationally by satellite to celebrate.

Today's theme, and the subject of this year's world health report, is "working together for health". I send greetings to all my fellow health workers here, and all across Zambia.

Today we celebrate the great contribution to our society, and to our lives, made by health workers. They give their energy, their skill, and their commitment to working with the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. They vaccinate our children and help us to recover when we are sick. They bandage us when we are wounded, and comfort us when those we love pass away.

Today is the day that we recognize them and thank them.

We chose this theme to emphasize the importance of having enough health workers, and to find ways to train and recruit more of them. Every community needs to be able to take care of its people. We are a long way from meeting that ideal. And we are determined to make that change.

This report (The world health report 2006) is a step towards making that happen.

It is my honour today to present this first signed copy to the Honourable Vice President.

Sir, with this report we mark WHO's commitment to "working together for health".

I know that there are grave difficulties to overcome. I know that HIV/AIDS is taking a terrible toll. It is taking parents from children. It is taking workers from businesses. It is taking skilled doctors and nurses from the bedside of the sick.

Ladies and gentlemen, I know that, in your President, in your Vice President, in your Minister of Health, and in your Government, you have leaders dedicated to making your lives better. I know that they are putting in place the right plans and activities. They - and you - can count on WHO's full support.

Today, I have watched your parades, and your colourful displays. It's inspiring to see such a bright and vigorous sight.

Looking into your faces I see the face of Zambia.

I see the future of Zambia.
I see hope.
I see power.
I see energy.

I see resilience.

Today, on World Health Day, I wish you all good health.

Thank you.