World Health Assembly kicks off next week

  • Posted on 17.05.2017

World Health Assembly kicks off next week


Karen Finn

Freelance writer, editor


The world’s highest health policy-setting body, World Health Assembly (WHA), is set to hold its 70th annual meeting in Geneva from 22-31 May 2017. It is here that health ministers from the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) 194 member states will review the WHO’s work, set new goals and assign new tasks.

Delegates at #WHA70 are due to hold discussions and reach decisions on a number of challenging health issues, according to the provisional agenda. Among other things, they will:   

  • Consider an updated report on global efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and consider adoption of a resolution on improving the prevention, diagnosis and clinical management of sepsis
  • Deliberate on a draft resolution for prevention of deafness and hearing loss
  • Look at cancer prevention and control in the context of an integrated approach
  • Review activities relating to global health emergencies, such as member states’ implementation of the new WHO Health Emergencies Programme adopted last year
  • Discuss a report on the evaluation and review of the global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property

The European Commission has previously identified AMR as a major health challenge and is working to raise public awareness in this area. Later this year it is expected to release a second Action Plan to support EU member states in the fight against AMR. Its first Action Plan was released in 2011. Check out MedTech Europe’s position paper on AMR as well as our CEO’s pledge to fight against antimicrobial resistance.

Last year’s WHA (#WHA69) also addressed a long and complex list of health matters. Some key outcomes were:

  • Establishment of a new Health Emergencies Programme, which aims to add operational capacities for outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies
  • Agreement on a comprehensive set of steps for pursuing health-related sustainable development goals such as prioritising universal health coverage, working with actors outside the health sector on issues such as antimicrobial resistance (AMR), maternal/child health and infectious diseases in developing countries, and health care equity
  • Adoption of three global health sector strategies for 2016-2021 to address HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections
  • Adoption of the WHO Framework on Integrated, People-Centred Health Services, which calls for a fundamental shift in the way health services are funded, managed and delivered

Stay tuned for more #WHA70 information via MedTech Europe’s online platforms!

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