71st World Health Assembly convenes – WHO Director-General advocates change to save millions
DPI, Guyana, Monday, May 21, 2018
Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence, accompanied by the Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud is representing Guyana at this year’s World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland from May 21 to 26.
Ministers of Health and other delegates from the World Health Organisation’s 194 Member States are meeting to discuss various public health issues and its effects on the global population.
The assembly opened today against the backdrop of a new outbreak of Ebola in central Africa. This served as a reminder that global health risks can manifest at any time and that fragile health systems in any country pose a risk to the world at large.
Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the gathering of the health assembly is pivotal to addressing health threats. He also presented an agenda for change aimed at saving 29 million lives by 2023. This is tied into the WHO’s 2018 theme of ensuring universal health access for all.
“We are transforming how we work to achieve our vision of a world in which health is a right for all. We are changing the way we do business… too many people are still dying of preventable diseases, too many people are being pushed into poverty to pay for health care out of their own pockets and too many people are unable to get the health services they need. This is unacceptable,” Dr Tedros said.
Areas up for discussion include the 13th General Programme of Work. This is the WHO’s five-year strategic plan to help countries meet the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Other topics that will be covered at this year’s World Health Assembly include the organisation’s work programmes in health emergencies, such as polio, physical activity, vaccines, the global snakebite burden and rheumatic heart disease.
By: Delicia Haynes.