MoH inform PM of TL’s willingness on the implementation of Paro declaration

MoH inform PM of TL’s willingness on the implementation of Paro declaration

Minister of Health, Odete Maria Freitas Belo (Photo Tatoli/Francisco Sony)

DILI, 22 september 2022 (TATOLI)— The government’s Ministry of Health get ready to implement the Paro declaration on mental health in the 75th session of the WHO Regional Committee (World Health Organization) SEARO (South East Asia Region).

The comment was made by Minister of Health, Odete Maria Freitas Belo after meeting with the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak at Farol Dili today.

Belo said, normally, a joint declaration will be produced during the International meeting where members of WHO-SEARO are presented, adding that at this point the resolution will be related to mental illness.

“Because we are a member of WHO-SEARO and the decisions we take are not just from one person but all members and the decision will be implemented by all country members,” said

Belo explained the main reason for presenting the declaration was based on the two years experiencing of the major impact of covid-19 on many people.

Previously, the Ministry of Social Solidarity and Inclusion (MSSI) requested the Ministry of Health to focus more attention on the patients who suffered from mental illness by providing special care and a special place for the patients with mental illness, therefore, the declaration became the basis for the Ministry of Health to implement related programs.

Earlier on 6 August, 2022 Timor-Leste together with ten (10) WHO-SEARO member countries in the 75th Session of the Regional Committees in Bhutan adopted the Paro Declaration committed to Universal Access to People-Centered Mental Health Care and Services.

SEARO member countries are Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste.

“There is no health without mental health. Increase investment in mental health, including for preventive and promotive services at the primary care level, reduce medical costs and increase productivity, employment, and quality of life,” said WHO SEARO Regional Director Poonam Khetrapal Singh at the meeting in Bhutan.

The Declaration urges Member States to develop and implement multisectoral policies throughout life to address mental health risks and reduce treatment gaps exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that mental health services reach all those in need.



Journalist: Jose De Sa

Editor: Nelia B.


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