Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, Pope Francis sign joint declaration on world health

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Pope Francis of the Catholic Church, affirmed their endeavour to enhance cooperation for combating diseases worldwide.

The statement was made on the backdrop of the joint declaration on world health, which was signed in Abu Dhabi on Monday. The document was signed by Mohammad Mubarak Al Mazroui, Undersecretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Princes’ Court, on behalf of Sheikh Mohamed, and by Archbishop Francisco Monticello Padilla, Pope’s Personal Envoy and deputy Vicar Apostolic in the UAE, on behalf of Pope Francis.

The joint declaration provides for cooperation by the two parties to improve the health of communities in need and to support international and joint initiatives with the aim of launching health programmes to help people in different countries across the world.

“Diseases are one of the biggest obstacles to the development and prosperity of societies, and access to health care, disease prevention and treatment, is key to eliminating poverty and achieving global development goals,” Shaikh Mohammad said. He expressed his aspiration to strengthen cooperation with Pope Francis to help poor communities enjoy a healthy and dignified life.

The declaration stipulated the fight against neglected tropical diseases in particular, which threaten more than 1.5 billion people worldwide, especially that these diseases are given a secondary priority on the global agenda despite international programmes launched and the increased access to treatment.

The long-term collaboration focuses on strengthening international efforts to eliminate communicable diseases.

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