Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed has expressed keenness for continued cooperation with Italy in various fields, particularly regarding the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Zayed’s remarks came during her meeting, on Sunday, with Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio, as part of the former’s visit to Rome.
During the meeting, the Egyptian minister delivered greetings from President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to the Italian officials, according to a Ministry of Health statement on Sunday.
The meeting was held following Zayed’s participation in an international forum to promote cooperation in healthcare. Also participating were the Ministers of Health from Tunisia, Kenya, Iraq, as well as the regional minister of Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
Zayed said that the global pandemic had revealed the strengths and weaknesses of global healthcare systems, whilst also causing a global economic crisis.
The minister pointed to Italy’s efforts in considering preventive measures, through which it helped the world gain real experience and knowledge to manage the crisis. She added that the response to the pandemic has, by necessity, varied from country to country based on demographics, socio-economic characteristics, and local norms and values.
Zayed also highlighted the need for solidarity between countries, as this unforeseen health crisis has restored cooperation among the international community. It has also meant that greater consideration has been given to how to rebuild the global economy, that will also see a more just and comprehensive healthcare system installed.
Moreover, the minister visited Bambino Gesù Hospital for Children, in order to discuss potential cooperation between the hospital and Egypt’s Ministry of Health. She also visited a research centre in Rome, where she agreed to send educational delegations to benefit from the Italian experience.
Zayed held a meeting with her Italian counterpart Roberto Speranza, who briefed her on the Italian experience in combating the coronavirus and the lockdown outcomes. For her part, the Egyptian minister reviewed her country’s efforts in the health sector.
Both sides discussed cooperation in the new comprehensive health insurance system that Egypt is currently applying. Cooperation includes supporting the system’s infrastructure, alongside training and education for nursing staff.