World Health Assembly

World Health Assembly

News: The 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) is being held in Geneva (Switzerland) with the theme: WHO at 75: Saving lives, driving health for all.

 The World Health Organization also eleased a report titled- “Health for All: Transforming economies to deliver what matters”, recommending a roadmap to link health with sustainable growth.

About WHA:
 World Health assembly is the main decision-making body of WHO and comprises 194 Member States. Every year, delegates from all Member States come together (generally in May) to agree on the Organisation’s priorities and policies.
 The assembly is held yearly at the HQ of WHO, i.e., Geneva, Switzerland.

Key Highlights:
 The Covid-19 pandemic was a preventable disaster resulting from a global failure to prioritize the wellbeing of humanity. Despite clear warnings, the importance of proactive measures to safeguard against pandemics was neglected causing significant crises worldwide.
 There remains a huge shortage of health workers globally and especially in low-income countries.
 It acknowledged the disastrous consequences Climate Change is already having on health. Climate change may cause 83 million excess deaths by the end of the century due to rising temperatures caused by Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
 Short-term austerity measures threaten health expenditure, undermining long-term benefits and stability in healthcare provision. Insufficient long-term investments lead to increased reliance on aid and Out-ofPocket Payments, hindering Universal Health Coverage.
 At least 140 countries recognize health as a human right somewhere in their constitution but only four countries mention how to finance it. 52 of these countries do little in practicing health as a human right.

Key Recommendations:
 Treat health and wellbeing, health workers and health systems as a long-term investment, not a short-term cost.
 Use a range of metrics that track progress across core societal values, above and beyond the narrow, static measure of GDP.
 Redraw the international architecture of finance to fund health equitably and proactively, including an effective and inclusive crisis response.
 Ensure proper funding of WHO and governance.
 Design knowledge governance, including intellectual property regimes, for the common good to ensure global equitable access to vital health innovations.
 Recognize that Health for All is not just for health ministries but for all government agencies.
 Invest in the dynamic capabilities of the public sector, institutionalizing experimentation and learning, to lead effectively in delivering Health for All. 

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