24 May – 1 June 2021
Address by Dr. Tedros Adhaom Ghebreyesus, Director General
This year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) featured an address given by Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhaom Ghebreyesus. In a world gripped by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the theme of this year’s WHA meeting was to address: ‘Ending this pandemic, preventing the next: building together a heathier, safer and fairer world’.
As the decision-making body of the WHO, the World Health Assembly is attended by delegations from all Member States of the WHO, and focuses on specific health agenda items decided upon by the Executive Board during their annual meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget.
Key Highlights from Director General’s address:
– Prior to COVID-19, 2021 had been determined to be the year of the ‘Nurse and Midwife’, however the pandemic has interrupted this. The pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of nurses, midwives and all healthcare workers. The Director General announced the release of the WHO’s first ‘State of the World’s Nursing’ report. It shows that the world is facing a shortfall of 6 million nurses to achieve and sustain universal health coverage. Governments are being called upon to invest in nursing, to fill that gap.
– The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a standstill to the entire world: there is a real importance that public health architecture is put in to place to detect and suppress transmission to ensure successful global recovery.
– The WHO calls on every country and organization to examine its response to the pandemic and to learn from its experience. We cannot allow the same mistake to occur again.
– ‘The world does not lack the tools, the science, or the resources to make it safer from pandemic. What is has lacked is the sustained commitment to use the tools, the science and the resources it has.’
– The WHO call for all nations to invest in strengthening and implementing tools for global health security.
– Nations must agree to regular and transparent reviews of their preparedness.
– The WHO is launching a WHO Academy for the provision of training for millions more health workers around the world.
– The WHO is launching the WHO Foundation to seek to broaden the WHO’s donor base.
World Patient Alliance’s (WPA) Response
– WPA agrees with and supports WHO’s call that ‘health is a pathway to security, prosperity and peace’.
– WPA agrees with and supports WHO’s statement that ‘investing in health must be at the center of development’.
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Find link to full speech here: https://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA73/A73_3-en.pdf
Please find below the link to a WPA published Op-Ed for inclusion on the website. https://insidesources.com/the-world-still-needs-the-u-s-to-defeat-covid-19/