Essential medicines and health products

Access to medicines in the spotlight at Harare talks

Access to medicine - meeting room

A partnership between the European Union (EU), the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) opened a three-day meeting in Harare on 24 June to review progress on improving the pharmaceutical sector in 15 African countries to increase access to medicines. The meeting brings together officials and medicines experts from 15 African countries, WHO, the EU and other partners. The Minister of Health and Childcare of Zimbabwe, the Honourable Dr. David Parirenyatwa, officially opened the meeting at at the Meikles Hotel in downtown Harare.

With 10 million Euro financial backing from the EU over a period of four years, the EU/ACP/WHO partnership is playing a critical role in supporting the development of norms, standards and guidelines and improving access to information and expertise in Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Conakry, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Highlights from the opening ceremony:

David Parirenyatwa

"Medicines must be available. They must be affordable. They must be free for the population. And they need to be safe.”

David Parirenyatwa, Minister of Health and Child Care of Zimbabwe

David Okello

"WHO appreciates the EU's contribution to improving the pharmaceutical sector to expand access to medicines. This work is critical for a well-functioning health system."

David Okello, WHO Representative in Zimbabwe

Jorge Pereiro-Pinon

“Health is one of the focus areas of the EU’s aid to Zimbabwe, and improving the pharmaceutical sector is key to achieving better health.”

Jorge Pereiro-Pinon, Representative of the European Commission Delegation

John Kakulé

“We need to position health in the UN post-MDG agenda and access to medicines should continue to be a major pillar of that agenda.”

John Kakulé, Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP)

Kees De Joncheere

"20-30% of the world’s population does not have access to medicines. Improving the pharmaceutical sector will not only expand access but also promote universal health coverage.”

Kees De Joncheere, Director WHO Essential Medicines and Health Products