Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantela will sign a declaration of intent for the opening of a World Health Organisation (WHO) regional office in Larnaca on Thursday in the presence of WHO regional director for Europe Hans Kluge.
Health ministry spokesperson Constantinos Athanasiou told the Cyprus News Agency on Monday that the decision to open a regional WHO office in Cyprus was fully approved by the cabinet and that works to open it will begin shortly after the signing of the declaration of intent.
“The geographical position of Cyprus makes it the ideal scenario to host the office, which will serve as a key reference point for international cooperation on public health,” Athanasiou said.
“The office will aim to improve the region’s preparedness for possible epidemics and pandemics. It will also work on developing polices should any disease affect the population in the future.”
Athanasiou, however, did not yet disclose who will be working at WHO’s office in Larnaca, adding that staff members will be nominated at a later stage.
While in Cyprus, Kluge will also take part in a conference in Limassol on October 7, named “The Next Day of the Pandemic”, which will also be attended by the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakidou, as well as representatives of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).