Speech for the Handover Ceremony of Maternal and Child Health Handbook at Luanda in Angola


Your Excellency Dr. Carlos Sousa, State Secretary for Public Health, Government of the Republic of Angola,
Your Excellency Mr. SUZUKI Toru, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Angola,
Mr. Nuno Da SILVA, Chief Executive Officer, CFAO Motors Angola,
Distinguished guests, good morning to you all,

I am honored to be here today for the Maternal and Child Health Handbook Handover Ceremony. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Government of Angola, especially the Ministry of Health, CFAO Motors Angola, as well as the Japanese experts and all other parties involved in our technical cooperation and today's ceremony.

With the support of CFAO Motors Angola, we can now provide this handbook to 150,000 mothers/babies. It will serve as a guide for new parents in receiving comprehensive care throughout pregnancy into childhood and communicating well with their families and health workers.

The Government of Angola and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, JICA, have partnered to develop this handbook and train health workers under the “Project for Improving Maternal and Child Health Services through Implementation of the Maternal and Child Health Handbook.” 

Over the years, CFAO Motors Angola has been a dedicated supporter in this regard. In 2019 and 2022, together with the World Bank, the European Union, and the Global Fund, they provided this handbook to all mothers and babies in the states of Luanda, Benguela, and Huambo. For your enduring support, I would like to say, “Thank You.”

JICA has been committed to improving Maternal and Child Health, MCH, in Angola, with the intention to achieve Universal Health Coverage, or UHC.

Japan first introduced the Maternal and Child Health Handbook in 1948 to ensure a continuum of care for maternal, newborn and child health. With the dedication of health workers and the empowerment of mothers and their communities, Japan now enjoys one of the lowest incidences of maternal and child deaths in the world .

In Angola, our MCH activity focuses on strengthening the continuum of care with evidence-based interventions, so that people can access quality services. Our commitment to MCH in Angola continues to this day with the on-going “Project for Improving the Quality of Maternal Health Services at Primary Health Care Facilities.” With the Ministry of Health of Angola, we are aiming to increase facility-based deliveries of babies through patient-centered obstetric and neonatal care.

The health sector has long been an important pillar of our cooperation here. This morning, I visited the Josina Machel Hospital. It is one of the oldest and largest state hospitals, and it is the flagship of Japanese cooperation in Angola. About 20 years ago, JICA provided grant aid to reconstruct and renovate the hospital after it suffered damage during this country’s long civil war. I was happy to see that the facility and equipment we provided are being used by devoted health workers and staff to serve patients on a daily basis. We hope our joint efforts will bring about a better, healthier future for all citizens of Angola.

Now, I would like to touch upon our other priorities in Angola. To promote sustainable economic development and human security, JICA has been actively engaged in energy, agriculture, and vocational training. For example, yesterday, I was able to visit the “Toyota de Angola Academy” Vocational Training Center in Cazenga.

This is a vocational training project that targets automobile maintenance instructors in collaboration with CFAO Motors Angola. For this project, JICA dispatched an expert from Brazil to Angola and brought Angolan trainees to Brazil for technical training. In this way, we fully leveraged JICA's long-standing cooperation with Brazil to develop high-quality human resources in Angola’s automobile sector. Diversification of industry and creating economic growth outside of oil production, to which this project contributes, is essential for Angola’s sustainable growth.

Angola is a very important partner for Japan. With the Honorable President Lourenço's visit to Japan in March of last year, I am delighted that the momentum for strengthening our bilateral relations is growing. In keeping with JICA’s vision of “Leading the world with trust,” we are committed to enhancing sustainable economic development and human security in Angola. We will continue to collaborate with the Government of Angola to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, with the aim of realizing a world where no one is left behind.

Thank you for your attention.
Muito obrigado.


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