Portugal and São Tomé and Príncipe on Monday signed a financial reinforcement of 400,000 euros for the purchase of equipment, consumables and training, under the scope of the “Health for All” programme carried out by the Marquês de Valle Flôr Institute
The financial protocol was signed by the Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Francisco André, the São Toméan Health Minister, Edgar Neves, and the executive director of the Marquês de Valle Flôr Institute, Ahmed Zaky.
Francisco André stressed that “the programme has been a success so far,” and taking into account “the scale of the results achieved,” Portugal decided to “sign this protocol for the next 12 months, with a significant financial boost.
“The 400,000 euros will allow us to complement the main areas of this ‘Health for All’ programme, with regard to the supply of equipment and improvement of infrastructures in the area of complementary means of laboratory diagnosis,” said the secretary of state.
The injection of a further 400,000 euros increases the annual budget of the programme to 1.3 million euros per year, and should be extended over the next five years of the new Strategic Cooperation Programme (PEC), recently signed between the two countries, “with an increase of over 25% in financial resources”.
“This is a programme of which Portuguese cooperation is very proud and we are well aware of the importance that this programme also has for Sao Tome and Principe and that is why we want to continue to work together in this logic of sharing experiences and exchanging information, as we have done so far to make this programme a success,” said Francisco André.
The Sao Tomean Health Minister, Edgar Neves, noted that the results of cooperation with Portugal “are more than visible,” adding that “the health indicators of Sao Tome and Principe have improved, both in the promotional and preventive aspects and also in the curative aspects.
The signing comes a day after the visit to the country by the Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa.
Sao Tome’s Central Hospital is part of the ‘Health for All’ cooperation project, launched in 1988 and is considered one of the most important of Portuguese cooperation.
According to a diplomatic source, this programme provides support to the network of preventive and primary care for the reduction and prevention of transmissible diseases, as well as support for specialised care through medical missions of Portuguese specialists.
This programme already has 26 medical specialties, including imaging, paediatric surgery, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, dermatology, gastroenterology, urology, cardiology, general surgery, anatomical pathology, gynaecology, obstetrics and combat against non-communicable diseases.
As regards the fight against Covid-19, Portugal has already donated 86,000 doses of vaccines accompanied by the material needed for inoculation.