Remarks of Dr. Lai Thai Binh, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Viet Nam to the Philippines on the World Health Day (April 5, 2024)

Your Excellencies,

Representatives of the Diplomatic Corps, the Philippines Government, the UN and international organizations,

Esteemed guests, and partners,

I'd like to extend a warm greeting to each of you gathered here today as we commemorate World Health Day.

I'd like to express my gratitude to Dr. Angela Pratt, WHO Representative in Viet Nam, and Dr. Duong Thi Hong from the Viet Nam National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, and for their insightful contributions.

Viet Nam remains steadfast in our commitment to realizing this year's theme, "My Health, My Right." We recognize that health coverage is not merely a policy objective but a moral obligation. Our endeavors, exemplified by initiatives like the outreach vaccination program, aim to extend healthcare access, particularly to remote regions such as the Central Highlands and border provinces.

Our efforts aspire to uplift living standards, recognizing the profound impact of untreated ailments on individuals and families, both economically and emotionally. A healthy populace is the cornerstone of societal prosperity. Therefore, we prioritize equitable access to quality healthcare, fostering familial and communal well-being while fortifying resilience against public health crises.

According to statistics, Viet Nam has made commendable strides, with preventive healthcare networks reaching 97% of the communes, health insurance covering 92% of the population, and significant improvements in access to clean water.

Nevertheless, challenges persist. Financial, technological, and human resource limitations hinder our ability to provide comprehensive social security. Furthermore, climate change and non-traditional security threats exacerbate healthcare disparities.

On this momentous occasion, we acknowledge the indispensable contributions of our health partners, notably the World Health Organization. Your unwavering support, encompassing technical assistance, capacity-building, and advocacy, has been pivotal in advancing our health agenda and improving millions of lives.

Looking ahead, let us reiterate our commitment to universal health coverage, ensuring that every individual, regardless of location or financial status, can access essential healthcare. Together, we can forge a healthier, fairer, and more prosperous future for Vietnam and other countries.

I wish you all a meaningful World Health Day. And thank you very much for your great support./.

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