A study tour, facilitated by UNFPA Iran, and consisting of a delegation of 17 participants from the Ministry of Health of Syria and UNFPA Syria, visited the midwifery and reproductive health programme of Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education from 25 to 29 November 2017. Dr. Mohammad Afifi from the UNFPA Arab States Regional Office (ASRO) accompanied the delegation.
Participants visited the Dornian Basic Health Care Center in the south of Tehran, the Noor-Saadat pre-marital counseling center and 2 maternity hospitals. Prominent experts from the Ministry of Health and the Iranian Red Crescent Society presented Iran’s national reproductive health programme, the maternal health and the neonatal health programmes, the midwifery curriculum, as well as reproductive health in disasters.
Some members of the delegation, UNFPA Iran and UNFPA Syria met with Dr. Asadi Lari, the Acting Minister and Head of International Affairs in the Ministry of Health and Medical Education. The Head of the delegation, Dr. Reem Eskandar Al-Ateki pointed at cultural commonalities between the two countries. Stressing on the devastating crisis in Syria and the migration of health providers, Dr. Al-Ateki expressed much interest in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Iran especially in areas of pre-marital counseling, maternal health and the experience of Iran in family planning.
Dr. Leila Joudane, UNFPA Iran Representative, and Dr. Omar Ballan, UNFPA Assistant Representative committed their support for the continuation of such exchanges, and hoped for future South-South collaborations between the 2 countries. Dr. Asadi Lari concluded the meeting on a positive note suggesting the preparation of a Plan of Action, as part of a Memorandum of Understanding in reproductive and maternal health between Iran and Syria.
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