On the occasion of the 69th World Health Assembly currently taking place at the World Health Organisation (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Brazilian Minister of Health Ricardo Barros paid a visit to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) headquarters this afternoon.Talking to IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper and IOC Medical and Scientific Director Richard Budgett, Minister Barros reaffirmed the commitment of the Brazilian government to put in place all the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of all people attending the Olympic Games Rio 2016 this August.
Minister Barros said that he had met both the Governor and Mayor of Rio de Janeiro last week, and confirmed that measures already put in place to combat the spread of Zika are rigidly being followed and are having a positive impact. These include the appointment of 2,500 personnel to support the existing health structure in hospitals and first aid points, as well as some 3,500 external agents responsible for the implementation of prevention measures in all areas where Olympic competitions are taking place. The Minister also shared some data showing the considerable drop in the proliferation of mosquitoes from July onwards – the Olympic Games will take place in Rio’s winter months, when it is typically cooler.
“The health and safety of the athletes and all people attending the Games are of absolute importance for the IOC,” said Christophe de Kepper. “We are pleased to see that the Brazilian Government is working closely with the WHO, and that it is following its advice as the IOC does. We are fully confident that the measures taken by Brazil will provide safe conditions for all those looking forward to experiencing great Games in a few weeks’ time.”