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Cyprus fortunate to be in EU during pandemic, says minister

A WHO meeting taking place in Cyprus is focusing on the themes of cancer, including a special focus on population screening programmes and paediatric cancer, and health and climate change, impact and experiences of small countries.

The 10th Ministerial Meeting of the Small Country Initiative – WHO, Euro region was opened by Cypriot Minister of Health, Michael Damianos.

Damianos told delegates that the recent COVID-19 pandemic had challenged the resilience of health systems and negatively affected economic growth and social coherence across the world. ‘An important lesson learnt was that small countries are more vulnerable, since they lack the negotiating power to secure the necessary resources needed to weather the crisis,’ he said. ‘Cyprus was fortunate enough to belong to the European Union (EU) family that allowed it to access the necessary vaccines and do well during the pandemic. I express our sincerest gratitude to the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides for this’.

He added that during the last four years, the pandemic prevailed over other interests and put aside all other health matters. ‘The effects of this are becoming more and more evident, especially in smaller countries,’ he said.

Famagusta Gazette