Readout of Secretary Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, bilateral meeting with Haiti Minister of Health, Alex Larsen
63rd World Health Assembly
Palais des Nations
May 17, 2010
Earlier today, Secretary Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services met with Alex Larsen, Haitian Minister of Health. The Secretary offered her personal condolences to the people of Haiti for the losses they have suffered and expressed her appreciation for all that has been accomplished in the rebuilding efforts. The Secretary reinforced the Unites States’ ongoing commitment to support the rebuilding of Haiti.
She highlighted efforts by several key Health and Human Services agencies currently underway in Haiti including: work by the Department to address short-term and long-term needs in rebuilding Haiti’s health professions education and training system; addressing mental health needs; and work by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with the Haitian Health Ministry to help public health surveillance and improve laboratory capacity and epidemiological and laboratory training.
Minister of Health Larsen thanked the Secretary for all that the United States has done to date and the new approach that the United States has taken towards long-term development in Haiti, one that is focused on capacity building. The Haitian delegation told the Secretary that it’s not about assistance, but about what we can build together.
The Secretary said “We are committed to working with the Haitian government and the people of Haiti to develop a sustainable, long-term health care system that will not only help the survivors of the earthquake but increase the ability of Haitians to receive the health care they need inside Haiti delivered by their own trained professionals.”