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China Keen To Develop Brunei Traditional Medicines

 By Azlan Othman

Bandar Seri Begawan - China has expressed its willingness to assist Brunei Darussalam in the development and manufacture of the Sultanate's traditional medicines.

This was revealed by China's Minister of Health, Prof Chen Zhu, during his meeting with Brunei's Minister of Health, Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awg Hj Suyoi.

They met on the sidelines of the 58th Regional Regional Committee Meeting for the Western Pacific of the World Health Organisation (WHO) which is taking place in Jeju, Republic of Korea from Sept 10-14, 2007.

The regional meeting, attended by health ministers or their representatives from 37 nations, is held annually to review programmes and activities of WHO.

In their bilateral meeting, Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi and Prof Chen Zhu both expressed their satisfaction at the ties and cooperation in health as agreed under an MoU and Plan of Action. Other issues discussed included enhancing health cooperation on human resource capacity and traditional medicine research.

Prof Chen Zhu said Brunei has the potential to be a source of traditional medicines with China showing its willingness to assist Brunei in the technical fields such as processing and manufacturing of the traditional medicines and developing them through joint cooperation.

The 58th Regional Regional Committee Meeting for the Western Pacific of WHO is reviewing the work of WHO to ensure that all health programmes run effectively and efficiently. The meeting is also reviewing the budget performance for the financial year 20062007 and programme budget for 2008-2009.

Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi in his speech said Brunei noted the steps taken to enhance the health status in this region.

Brunei congratulated WHO for providing technical assistance, including for 2008-2009 which will involve surveillance, prevention and management of non-infectious diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity and other risk factors related to unhealthy life style that showed an increasing trend in this country.

The meeting is also discussing the progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals that focused on the survival of children against HI V/AIDS and tuberculosis and strengthening the health systems.

The meeting also discussed issues such as avian and pandemic influenza, international health regulations, the Asia Pacific strategy for emerging diseases, intellectual property rights, innovation and public health, people at the centre of care initiative, follow-up reports on prevention, control of communicable diseases, tobacco control, mental health and traditional medicines.  -- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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