Ministers of health from 47 African countries will be in Zimbabwe this coming week to attend the 67th World Health Organisation (WHO) regional committee for Africa meeting to be held in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

Zimbabwe won the bid to host such a high profile meeting ahead of several other African states that had expressed interest, reinforcing the confidence the region has in the capabilities of the country.

Many countries experience similar health challenges and concerns which calls for cooperation among states to accelerate health development within the countries and across regions.

Health ministers from the region will deliberate on a number of policy commitments contained in the five year regional strategy for health security and emergencies 2016–2020.

One of the strategy’s most significant commitment is that by 2018, at least 80 percent of the 47 countries will have tested and funded all-hazards preparedness plans and conducted outbreak and disaster risk analysis’.

WHO regional director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti is already in the country ahead of the conference to be held from the 28th of this month to the 1st of September.

“The region is under threat from drug resistant strains of tuberculosis and HIV and countries need to cooperate and come up with strategies to curb them,” said Dr Moeti at a media briefing held today.

Health and Child Care Minister, Dr David Parirenyatwa said it is such an honour for the country to be hosting such a high profile meeting.

WHO country representative for Zimbabwe, Dr David Okello also attended the media briefing.

The last session of the WHO Afro meeting was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in August last year and ministers of health committed to support strategies to tackle public health emergencies that are threatening to disrupt the regional economy.