The Africa Health Fair 2019 opened on Thursday, February 7, 2019, at the Palais des Congrès Sofitel Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan. From 7 to 9 February 2019, health professionals and scientists from all over the world will focus on “the quality approach for the development of health systems and the well-being of populations”.
The opening ceremony of the second specialists’ and health industry fair was chaired by Dominique Ouattara, First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire and Special Ambassador of UNAIDS. Sponsored by Mr. Daniel Kablan Duncan, Vice-President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, the event witnessed the participation of Mr. Eugène Aka Aouélé, Minister of Health and Public Hygiene, Mr. Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Trade, Industry and the Promotion of SMEs and many other personalities.
As UNAIDS Special Ambassador and Patrone of the event, the First Lady again took the opportunity to advocate for the production of pediatric antiretrovirals (ARTs) in Africa. According to her, this local production will not only positively impact people’s accessibility to the drug but also its cost. It will also help to combat mother-to-child transmission of HIV / AIDS. Mrs. Dominique Ouattara also raised concern about the still too high rate of maternal mortality in Côte d’Ivoire. “(…) According to UNICEF data 2016, Côte d’Ivoire still has 614 maternal mortality per 100,000 births,” she said. For the wife of the head of state, the lack of specific health care for mothers and children is one of the main causes for maternal mortality. It is for all these reasons that she has decided to provide an adequate response to this problem through the construction of the Mother and Child’s Hospital in Bingerville. Talking about the forum, the First Lady recognises its importance to bring out strategic resolutions to save lives. “The high-level event, Africa Health Fair, is an appropriate platform to promote discussions between health professionals, with a view to finding a lasting solution to the challenges that must be faced,” said Dominique Ouattara.