65 Million People at Risk of Falling into Poverty

Regional Director for World Health Organization Southeast Asia Poonam Khetrapal Sing

Jakarta, MINA – Regional Director for World Health Organization Southeast Asia Poonam Khetrapal Singh opined that 65 million Southeast Asians are at risk of falling into poverty due to inadequate access to basic healthcare facilities that are expensive, Antara News reported.

“They have to dredge their pockets to buy medicines, especially those suffering from diseases, such as heart problems and diabetes,” Singh noted in a statement in Jakarta on Thursday.

Singh further highlighted the need for serious efforts to increase the availability of human resources in the health sector and to hone the skills of health workers and support personnel.

It is also necessary to ensure that health workers and support personnel are willing to work in rural and inaccessible areas to ensure quality health services for everyone, regardless of the location they are in.

“Nearly half of the population in Southeast Asia still does not have full access to basic health services,” Singh added.

Singh noted that the underprivileged and rural communities had more limited access as compared to those belonging to the higher income bracket and living in urban areas.

Hence, the World Health Organization (WHO) has invited all member states in Southeast Asia to step up efforts towards universal health coverage to provide quality healthcare services for everyone, at any time, and in any location, without any financial difficulties.

This is in accordance with this year`s theme of “Coverage of Universal Health: For Every Citizen, Where It Is” for World Health Day that is celebrated annually on Apr 7. (T/RS5/RS1)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)