Health in the Commonwealth

Message from the Commonwealth Secretary-General, 2014

Kamalesh Sharma, Commonwealth Secretary-General

As we approach the 2015 target date for the Millennium Development Goals, it is timely that the focus of this publication should be on issues relating to the post-2015 development agenda and collective Commonwealth concerns, including the strengthening of national health policies and systems. Public health is a Commonwealth priority, and is given particular attention by the health ministers of our member states when they meet each year.

Commonwealth Health Partnerships 2014, therefore, draws together valuable data on health systems and health outcomes in each of our 53 member states.
Good health is at the heart of the personal sense of well-being of all our citizens. It is fundamental to nation building; both social and economic inclusion; the ability of people throughout their life to contribute to the cohesion and prosperity of their communities; achieving our collective ambitions; and for our societies to fulfil their potential. This is true in all our member states, irrespective of national stages of development, and has consequences for the goals we pursue of growth, resilience, sustainability and an ever enhanced quality of life.

Contributions in this publication under the headings of antimicrobial resistance and vaccination, non-communicable diseases, and mental health, show the immense range of experience and specialised technical and professional expertise from a variety of contexts that we are able to convene through shared Commonwealth identity. The mutual exchange of ideas, research and innovative practice in publications such as this, at ministerial meetings and through pan-Commonwealth organisations for health care professionals, demonstrates the value and immense potential of sustained engagement through our interconnecting and interactive networks. We cherish these links, and continue to nurture new connections and fresh opportunities for exchange and practical co-operation, so that the common health concerns and aspirations of Commonwealth citizens can continue to be effectively addressed and advanced.