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General Science & Health

06/10/2023   Wired Science
Scientists are uncovering previously unknown species preserved in museum and botanical garden collections, only to find that they no longer exist in the wild.
06/09/2023   Wired Science
Here’s what to know about wildfire smoke and invisible pollutants, and how you can use your phone to decide whether it’s safe to spend time outside.
06/09/2023   Wired Science
Faced with the difficult task of decarbonizing, some shipping companies are taking another look at a polarizing solution—nuclear fission.
06/08/2023   Wired Science
Water surging from the broken Ukrainian dam is killing animals, destroying habitats, and unleashing pollution. The effects may be irreversible.
06/08/2023   Wired Science
Actuators inspired by cucumber plants could make robots move more naturally in response to their environments, or be used for devices in inhospitable places.
06/08/2023   Wired Science
Melting Antarctic ice is disrupting the movement of deep seawater, which could further destabilize weather patterns around the world.
06/08/2023   WHO News

Today the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) signed a new and revised Strategic Framework for Collaboration, designed to build stronger and more resilient health systems and maximize collaboration and impact in support of country, regional and global responses to major communicable diseases. 

The new five-year framework builds on the previous agreement signed in 2018. It aligns with the 2023-2028 Global Fund Strategy and the WHO General Programme of Work, which put communities at the centre of the health response and also address pandemic preparedness and challenges posed by climate change. The framework fits with broader collaboration platforms to accelerate support to countries to achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

“As health budgets globally are strained and under pressure, it is imperative for our two organizations to continue to work together to support countries to expand access to services for the three diseases as part of their journey towards universal health coverage,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “In light of slowing progress towards ending the AIDS, TB, and malaria epidemics, coupled with emerging health challenges, stronger collaboration between WHO and the Global Fund is needed more than ever.” 

With WHO and the Global Fund’s common mission and commitment to serve countries, the new Strategic Framework for Collaboration will further strengthen and extend collaboration.

“At a time when the world is beset by interlocking and intersecting crises, from conflict to climate change, the partnership between the Global Fund and WHO is more critical than ever,” said Peter Sands, Executive Director of the Global Fund. “Crises shock global systems and roll back gains, with the world’s most vulnerable people bearing the brunt. Organizations like ours are most effective when we collaborate closely with national governments and other trusted partners to strengthen local, community-driven systems for health.” 

Continued collaboration over the past years has contributed to significant achievements at country level:

  • Rapid scale-up of differentiated service delivery (DSD) across a range of countries to improve access to HIV prevention, testing, care and treatment, including 18 countries currently receiving intensified support through the Global Fund/WHO collaborative DSD Strategic Initiative to increase efficiencies and cost-effectiveness in DSD.
  • Collaboration has enabled early guidance and surveys on dual testing for COVID-19 and TB, allowing for improved detection of people with TB through the innovations adopted during and after the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Strategic initiatives on malaria enabled accelerated progress towards malaria elimination. Since 2018, eight countries have been certified malaria-free by WHO, with five more preparing for certification in 2023 and 2024.
  • The partnership also provides the foundation to accelerate the implementation of innovative approaches, such as the new WHO Insecticide Treated Nets Guidelines for malaria and the scale-up of new, shorter treatments for multidrug-resistant TB.
  • Valuable support was provided in the development of 50 evidence-based and costed national strategic plans aligned to the latest WHO guidelines, serving as a basis for high-quality funding requests to the Global Fund.
  • Global health financing remains an important area for continued collaboration to help countries develop stronger, more sustainable and efficient health financing systems. WHO’s work to track health expenditure in 59 low- and middle-income countries, has informed national health policy dialogue. Joint work to support cross-programme efficiency analysis in 13 countries has reduced fragmentation and duplication.  

Even with this level of progress, much work remains to be done in countries to accelerate progress towards ending AIDS, TB and malaria epidemics and to build strong health systems that are also capable of responding to the next emergency.

Through this new framework, WHO and the Global Fund will be leveraging their comparative strengths across 35 areas for collaboration divided into 4 categories:

  1. Health policies and normative guidance
  2. Advocacy and health governance
  3. Health products and innovations
  4. Technical support and capacity building

Note to editors

This page was updated on 9 June 2023. Correction made to the text regarding HIV differentiated service delivery (DSD) to clarify that 18 countries currently receive intensified support through the collaboration between Global Fund and WHO, while several other countries are implementing DSD.


06/07/2023   Wired Science
Canadian wildfires are spewing smoke into New York City and Washington, DC, threatening the health of millions. Welcome to the “Pyrocene.”
06/07/2023   Wired Science
Services like Maven are improving outcomes across key areas of women’s health care—from emergency medicine to maternity services.
06/07/2023   Wired Science
The 100,000 Genomes Project has a massive database to help doctors and patients solve baffling medical cases and diagnose cancers.
06/06/2023   WHO News

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay MP shake hands

Pandemic preparedness, support for Ukraine, and the fight against superbugs topped the agenda Tuesday as WHO and UK health leaders met in London to discuss their shared global health priorities.

In their first one-on-one meeting, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Steve Barclay MP spoke at length about their shared commitment to delivering a pandemic instrument – a new international agreement being negotiated by WHO Member States – to strengthen global collaboration to help protect the world from another pandemic.

Mr Barclay outlined the UK government’s priorities for a pandemic instrument, which include faster and more efficient data sharing between WHO Member States; quicker, more equitable access to affordable vaccines, tests and treatments; and stronger collaboration on scientific research and development.

“The World Health Organization has reached a significant milestone this year in the marking of its 75th anniversary, and I’m proud of the UK’s longstanding relationship with WHO to improve public health,” Mr Barclay said. “The UK is playing a leading role in tackling some of the world’s greatest health threats, including antimicrobial resistance for which we recently announced £39 million for research into new drugs to combat infections.”

In 2022 and in the previous biennium, the UK was the largest contributor to WHO’s Core Voluntary Contributions Account. The account provides flexible funds that WHO can use and allocate as needed within its approved programme budgets. 

Earlier in the day, Dr Tedros joined International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell and Health Minister Will Quince for the annual UK-WHO Strategic Dialogue to discuss how to tackle global health challenges together and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 

They spoke about effectively responding to health emergencies, preventing the next pandemic and confronting threats to health posed by climate change.

Ministers Mitchell and Quince emphasized the importance of building strong health systems in countries and protecting the health and rights of women and girls. Ministers also cited the importance of reform to strengthen WHO as an organization, expressing support for WHO’s extensive efforts to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct.  

“WHO highly values its strong and impactful collaboration with the UK Government to promote and protect the health of people worldwide,” Dr Tedros said as the meetings concluded. “Today’s strategic dialogue with Ministers Mitchell and Quince, and my productive discussions with Secretary of State Barclay, demonstrated the UK’s commitment to global public health, its support of the World Health Organization, and the great potential and impact of our partnership. I look forward to continuing our joint work to make the world healthier and safer on many fronts, from combatting antimicrobial resistance to supporting the UK and countries around the world to develop a generational accord to prevent and respond to future pandemics.”

Read more about the UK and WHO’s partnership in global health.


06/06/2023   WHO News

The World Health Organization has announced the official selection of this year’s winning films at its 4th Annual Health for All Film Festival, held at WHO Headquarters, Geneva. The event, attended in person and online by actors, producers and public figures, saw winning films announced for 7 different categories, while 4 films received special mentions from the jury.

This is the fourth year of the film festival and competition was no less fierce, with some 93 shortlisted films covering issues ranging from anxiety and depression through to the effects of climate change on health, as well as the health challenges of people with disabilities. The films were judged by a panel of distinguished professionals, artists and activists, including the renown actors, Sharon Stone and Alfonso Herrera, dance choreographer, Sherrie Silver, climate activist, Sophia Kianni and media personality, Adelle Onyango. They were joined by senior United Nations officials and WHO staff.

“The Health for All Film Festival brings a human face to WHO’s scientific work,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “Listening to the voices of people affected by health issues is a powerful way to raise awareness and improve our understanding of people’s experiences and this can help us advance towards health for all.”

From the official selection one “GRAND PRIX” is attributed for each of the three main competition categories: Universal Health Coverage, Health emergencies, and Better health and well-being, which align with WHO’s Triple Billion Targets.

Sharon Stone, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress from the United States of America, producer and activist for health and humanitarian causes said:

"I am delighted to be part of the Health for All Film Festival. This is about creating better awareness on crucial actions needed for reaching healthier living conditions around the world. The stories selected talk to us about the intrinsic value of good health and its access, and they advocate for universal health coverage. Universal Health Coverage is a very important right, it’s a human right for everyone around the world."

Four special prizes were also given for a Student-produced film, a film on Climate Change and Health, a film on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and a Very Short Film.

The theme of mental health featured heavily in this year’s winning entries, including a powerful and moving short film from Sweden about anxiety and depression. The film, set to a stirring soundtrack, featured a series of actors expressing different stages of anxiety and how it can manifest itself. The overall message was that you are not alone in experiencing negative thoughts and that it is okay to acknowledge such feelings.

Another winning film, from Bangladesh, features a young boy who was exposed to lead from a local factory. The moving film details the effects this has had on his educational development and the work that a local non-governmental organization has done to both highlight the issue and take action to prevent lead poisoning in the affected community. 

List of films awarded:

UHC "Grand Prix": “Jonathan’s Miracle Feet” – Sierra Leone / Disability, clubfoot
Directed by Mamihasina Raminosoa and Nantenaina Rakotondranivo from Madagascar for the NGO Miracle Feet / Documentary – Duration 3’19’’

Health Emergencies "Grand Prix": “Nurses facing Covid / Na Lihna de Frente” – Brazil / COVID-19 and access to care
Directed by Klimt Publicidade and the institution Conselho Federal de Enfermagem – Cofen – From Brazil / Documentary – Duration 8’

Better Health and Well-being "Grand Prix": “One in 36 Million: Story of Childhood Lead Poisoning in Bangladesh” – Environmental health
Directed by Mitali Das and Arifur Rahman (Bangladesh) for the NGO Pure Earth Bangladesh Documentary – Duration 6’32’’

Special Prize Climate Change and Health Film: "When climate change turns violent” – Global / Gender based violence and climate change
Directed by Vandita Sariya (India) / Documentary - Duration 4’32’’

Special Prize Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Film:“Vulvo and Dynia” – Israel / Vulvodynia
Directed by Dina Stescovich (Israel) / Fiction – Duration 4’13’’

Student Film Prize:“Gasping for life” – Germany / Mental health, screens addiction, anxiety, depression
Directed by Su Hyun Hong (Germany) / Animation – Duration 8’

Special Prize Very Short Film:“Mirrors” Sweden / Mental health, depression 
Directed by Paul Jerndal (Sweden) / Fiction – Duration 3’

Films receiving a Special Mention from the Jury:

Health Emergencies Special Mention: “My roots: Mayas during Covid-19” Guatemala / COVID-19
Directed by Ángela Lucrecia Chiquin (Guatemala) / Documentary – Duration 3’11’’

Better Health and Well-being Special Mention: “Love Shades” Sweden / Mental health, depression and empathy Directed by Pratick Paudel (Sweden) / Fiction – Duration 5’51’’

Climate Change and Health Special Mention: “Freedom to breathe: a child’s right to breath clean air” Global / Asthma and air pollution
Directed by Georgette Thomas (United Kingdom) / Documentary – Duration 5’39’’

Very Short Film Special Mention: “I am naked / Je suis nue” France / Violation of privacy; Mental health; Emotional violence against women
Directed by Alexandra Mignien (France) / Fiction – Duration 2’20’’

For more details on the official selection, the jury composition and to watch the films and awards ceremony, visit


06/06/2023   Wired Science
While weight-loss drugs are dialing down the urge to eat for many, others desperately need something that can convince their body to consume more.
06/06/2023   Wired Science
Precision Neuroscience’s brain-computer interface sits on top of the brain, not in it. That could make it easier to implant, and less likely to damage tissue.
06/05/2023   Wired Science
Taking a rational and statistical approach to a diagnosis can lead to better choices about treatment—which in some cases might mean not treating cancer at all.
06/05/2023   Wired Science
Scientists just figured out that thousands of air quality stations have been accidentally gathering invaluable DNA data on local organisms.
06/05/2023   WHO News
In June 2023, WHO will take up the European Union (EU) system of digital COVID-19 certification to establish a global system that will help facilitate global mobility and protect citizens across the world from on-going and future health threats, including pandemics.
06/04/2023   Wired Science
In 50 years of searching, mathematicians found only one example of a “subspace design” that fit their criteria. A new proof reveals that there are infinitely more.
06/04/2023   Wired Science
Covid-19 changed how therapists work, for good and ill. Here's how you can adapt, whether you're a patient or a practitioner.
06/03/2023   Wired Science
Scientists are worried about the effect this change could have on orbiting satellites, the ozone layer, and Earth’s weather.
06/02/2023   WHO News
A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO), released today, finds that the world is not on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 for energy by 2030.
06/02/2023   Wired Science
The "Monty Hall problem" is a classic example of how games of chance can have surprising results. Here’s a fun way to model the problem.
06/02/2023   Wired Science
Four people will cohabitate in a small prototype Martian dwelling, mimicking the isolation and stresses of life on the Red Planet.
06/02/2023   Wired Science
Doughnut-makers are reinventing the sugary treat in response to the UK’s new food display rules. But will healthier confections satisfy your cravings?
06/01/2023   Wired Science
The injectable weight loss drugs Ozempic and Wegovy are already popular. Oral forms could lead to even more demand.
05/30/2023   WHO News

WHO’s annual assembly ends with agreement on funding, and array of health topics

WHO’s 76th health assembly closed today, having addressed a vast array of issues, including behavioural sciences; best buys for non-communicable diseases; diagnostics; disabilities; drowning prevention; emergency, critical and operative care; food micronutrients; indigenous health; infection prevention and control; maternal and child health; medical oxygen; primary health care; refugee and migrant health; rehabilitation; traditional medicine, and WHO’s work in responding to dozens of emergencies while working with Member States to be better prepared to face new ones. 

Earlier in the day, delegates in Committee A agreed to note the roadmap towards the Global Health and Peace Initiative (along with a slight change in name from “Global Health for Peace Initiative”), and requested that the Director-General report on progress in strengthening the roadmap. 

In plenary, as the final approval step of the assembly, delegates adopted the resolutions and decisions of the two committees, and adopted their reports. This included approval of the budget for 2024-25, and a 20% increase in assessed contributions. The committee chairs and representatives from two regions spoke to recognize the work and progress of this Assembly. 

In his closing remarks, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s Director-General, noted that “the increase in assessed contributions and the investment round are historic and a huge milestone.” He spoke about the year ahead, with high-level meetings on universal health coverage, tuberculosis and pandemic preparedness and response at this year’s UN General Assembly. He pointed to the continuing negotiations on the pandemic accord and amendments to the International Health Regulations as unprecedented—“generational”—opportunities to learn from the mistakes of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure they are not repeated. 

Delegates also had the chance to hear from former WHO staff Gwen Carnelley, who turned 100 this year, who began working with WHO in 1949, just a year after WHO was founded 75 years ago.

Video of Closing of the 76th World Health AssemblyGwen Carnelley is introduced at 54:37 and speaks shortly afterwards.

Starting tomorrow, the 153rd meeting of Executive Board begins, where the outcomes of the Assembly will be discussed, among other things. 

05/29/2023   WHO News

Landmark resolution for strengthening Indigenous Peoples’ health globally

The World Health Assembly today approved an unprecedented resolution on the health of Indigenous Peoples, which requests the Director-General to develop a global action plan for the health of indigenous peoples and to present it to the Seventy-ninth World Health Assembly in 2026.

Indigenous Peoples, although representing diverse population groups and communities, in general have considerably lower life expectancy than non-indigenous populations. They also have a higher prevalence of many diseases and adverse health conditions, including diabetes, maternal and infant mortality and malnutrition.

The Assembly requested the action plan be developed in consultation with Indigenous Peoples; that WHO provide support to Member States, upon request, for improving indigenous health; and that the improvement of Indigenous Peoples’ health be included in the development of the Fourteenth WHO General Programme of Work.

In the same resolution, the Health Assembly urged Member States to, among other tasks, develop knowledge about the health situation of Indigenous Peoples, with their free, prior and informed consent; develop, fund and implement national health plans, strategies or other measures for Indigenous Peoples; encourage the attraction, training, recruitment and retention of Indigenous Peoples as health workers taking into account the traditional knowledge and practices.

Related document

Health of Indigenous Peoples

First-ever resolution to accelerate action on drowning prevention

The delegates at the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly agreed a resolution to accelerate action on global drowning prevention. The resolution requests Member States to assess their national drowning situation and to develop and implement multisectoral drowning prevention programmes.

Drowning causes 236 000 deaths every year. It is a leading global cause of injury-related child deaths. Over the past decade, 2.5 million people died from drowning, and over 90% of those occurred in low- and middle-income countries.

At the invitation of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, WHO will coordinate actions within the UN system on drowning prevention and facilitate the observance of World Drowning Prevention Day on 25 July each year.

WHO will also set up a Global Alliance for Drowning Prevention with organizations of the UN system, international development partners and nongovernmental organizations. To better understand the true burden and impact of drowning, the resolution further requests WHO to prepare a global status report on drowning prevention.

Related document

Accelerating action on global drowning prevention

Related links

Member States mobilize behind resolution to tackle chemicals, waste and pollution

Member States welcomed the resolution addressing environmental determinants, including management of chemicals and waste. The efforts can help prevent up to one fifth of all suicide-related deaths from highly hazardous pesticides.

Member States were urged to bolster the implementation of existing WHO strategies including implementation of the WHO Chemicals Roadmap which outlines key roles of the health sector in implementing the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management. The resolution also encourages the Ministries of Health to engage in efforts to prepare proposals for an intergovernmental science policy panel and negotiations for a treaty to end plastic pollution.

The resolution called upon the Director-General to undertake several actions, including: publishing a report on the health implications of chemicals, waste and pollution from a "One Health" perspective; updating the 2012 document on the State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals jointly with the United Nations Environment Programme; and supporting countries in developing national or regional human biomonitoring programmes for chemicals of concern.

Related document

The impact of chemicals, waste and pollution on human health

Related link

Achieving well-being: a global framework

Member States agreed to adopt the "Global framework for integrating well-being into public health utilizing a health promotion approach", which strives to enable all people to flourish and achieve their full physical and mental health potential throughout their lives and across generations. The Global framework recommends six key strategic directions that focus on: universal health coverage, equitable economies, protecting the planet, social protection systems, digital systems to enable health, and measuring and monitoring well-being.

The framework proposes close collaboration with sectors outside the health sector to promote and protect health. It serves as a guide for all stakeholders to engage in a coherent and coordinated manner around a common purpose: promoting the health of people and planet in a sustainable and equitable manner.

The Assembly requests the Director-General to report on implementation of the global framework in 2024, 2026 and 2031.

Related document

A76/7 Add.2
Well-being and health promotion

New resolution to accelerate efforts on food micronutrient fortification

The delegates approved a resolution on accelerating efforts to prevent micronutrient deficiencies through safe and effective food fortification.

Deficiencies in vitamin and mineral status, particularly of folate, iron, vitamin A, and zinc, affect 50% of all preschool aged children and 67% of all women of reproductive age worldwide. Micronutrient deficiencies can have serious consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

Large scale food fortification is part of the solution. By adding essential vitamins and minerals to staple foods and condiments, such as wheat and maize flours, rice, cooking oil and salt in accordance with national consumption patterns and deficiencies, countries can correct and further prevent a demonstrated micronutrient deficiency.

The resolution urges Member States to develop policies on food fortification with micronutrients and/or supplementation, and to consider ways of strengthening financing and monitoring mechanisms. The resolution was agreed under the umbrella of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition (2016-2025) report.

Related document

Accelerating efforts for preventing micronutrient deficiencies and their consequences, including spina bifida and other neural tube defects, through safe and effective food fortification

Related links

Member States approve actions to counter substandard and falsified medicines

On 27 May, the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly approved a resolution to conduct an independent review of the Member State Mechanism (MSM) for incidents, substandard and falsified medicines, reinforcing the Director-General’s January 2023 call for increased vigilance and action in this important area. The review will be initiated at the next MSM steering committee meeting later in 2023.

The Assembly established the MSM in 2012 to tackle substandard and falsified medical products from a public health perspective and in a transparent and inclusive way. The goal of the MSM is to protect public health and promote access to affordable, safe, efficacious and quality medical products.

Noting recent events of contaminated medicines found on various markets and related preventable deaths, Member States emphasized the support needed to improve their capacity to prevent, detect and respond to substandard and falsified medical products through access to appropriate technologies, including laboratory testing facilities, along with improved oversight on informal markets and advertising, and the online sale of medical products.

Member States called for embracing and implementing track and trace technologies for market control and surveillance, as well as the need for formal collaboration by relevant local and global partners such as law enforcement and customs administrations. Member States were encouraged to align with conventions aimed at improvement of legislation and imposition of prohibitive sanctions for wrongful dealing in substandard and falsified medical products.

The Secretariat is requested to report on progress in this area to the Executive Board in 2025.

Related document

Substandard and falsified medical products

Related links

First ever resolution on behavioural sciences for better health is adopted

Today Member States adopted the behavioural sciences for better health resolution with Member States showing broad consensus towards the need for integrating systematically behavioural science theory, methods and approaches across health topics and public health functions.

The resolution urges Member States to acknowledge the role of behavioural science in achieving better health outcomes, to identify opportunities for increased use and, to establish functions and units for generating and translating evidence to inform policies and programmes. It also requests the Director-General to mainstream the use of behavioural science within the organization and to provide support to Member States through the development of guidance and the provision of technical assistance.

Member States recognized the achievement of the Behavioural Sciences for Better Health Initiative led by the secretariat, congratulated Malaysia, sponsor of the resolution, as well as the other 19 countries that joined as co-sponsors, and thanked the Director-General for the report. They stressed the importance of building capacity in this area, particularly in regional offices, and of creating a repository of evidence and synergies between sectors, including with academia and the private sector.

Related documents

Behavioural sciences for better health

Behavioural sciences for better health, Report by the Director-General

Behavioural Sciences for Better Health Initiative


The above items were discussed as part of the document A76/7 Rev.1 - Consolidated report by the Director-General.


05/27/2023   WHO News

First global strategy on infection prevention and control

The World Health Assembly agreed today on the first-ever global strategy on infection prevention and control (IPC), which builds on almost two decades of efforts led by WHO and partners. The strategy provides Member States with strategic directions to substantially reduce the ongoing risk of health care-associated infections (HAIs), including those that exhibit antimicrobial resistance.

HAIs are among the most frequent adverse events occurring in the context of health service delivery. The COVID-19 pandemic and recent major disease outbreaks such as Ebola virus disease, the Middle East respiratory syndrome and the Sudan virus disease have clearly exposed the existing gaps in IPC programmes in all countries.

The strategy sets a clear vision: by 2030, everyone accessing or providing health care is safe from associated infections. Its three key objectives are: to prevent infection in health care; act to ensure IPC programmes are in place and implemented; and coordinate IPC activities with other areas and sectors.

The strategy is focused on any setting where health care is delivered, across the health system; it is based on the principle of clean and safe care as a fundamental component of the right to health, which is equity driven, and which should ensure accountability and sustainability.

The global IPC strategy will be complemented by, and used in conjunction with, an associated global action plan and monitoring framework, that will be developed in 2023–2024.

Related document

Draft global strategy on infection prevention and control, Executive summary Report by the Director-General

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Historic resolution paves the way for strengthening rehabilitation in health systems

Today the World Health Assembly agreed a landmark resolution on strengthening rehabilitation in health systems. Rehabilitation services play a key role in ensuring the enjoyment of human rights including the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. It also promotes sexual and reproductive health, and recognizes the right to work and the right to education.

This landmark resolution aims to address the challenges in rehabilitation such as the need to:

  • increase awareness of rehabilitation when setting health priorities and research agendas, allocating resources,  promoting cooperation and enabling technology transfer;
  • ensure countries are better equipped to respond to the sudden increase in rehabilitation needs including assistive technology due to health emergencies;
  • ensure persons in marginalized and vulnerable situations have access to affordable, quality and appropriate rehabilitation services including assistive technology;
  • avoid high out-of-pocket costs for people to access rehabilitation services and assistive technology that can cause financial hardships; and
  • address the current insufficient level of rehabilitation workforce to serve the needs of the population.

The resolution lists a range of actions to be taken by the WHO Secretariat such as: publishing a baseline report by the end of 2026 with information on the capacity of Member States to respond to rehabilitation needs; developing targets and indicators for effective coverage of rehabilitation services by 2030; ensuring appropriate resources are allocated at WHO to support Member States in implementing technical guidance and resources; and supporting Member States to integrate rehabilitation and assistive technology in their emergency preparedness and response plan.

The WHO Secretariat will report on progress in the implementation of this resolution to the Health Assembly in 2026, 2028 and 2030.

Related document

Strengthening rehabilitation in health systems, Report by the Director-General

Related link


The items above were discussed as part of the document  A76/7 Rev.1 - Consolidated report by the Director-General.


Resolution on strengthening diagnostics capacity

On 26 May Member States endorsed a resolution to strengthen diagnostics capacity in countres and to improve access to diagnostic services.

The broad ranging resolution recognizes that diagnostic services are vital for the prevention, surveillance, diagnosis, case management, monitoring and treatment of communicable, noncommunicable, neglected tropical and rare diseases, injuries, and disabilities. Diagnostics allow for the precise identification of diseases, and therefore the timely initiation of the correct treatments for better health outcomes.

The resolution considers the full spectrum of “diagnostics”, thus including both “in vitro” laboratory tests e.g. rapid diagnostic tests and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and “non in vitro” diagnostics e.g. imaging or blood pressure measurement devices. It covers actions for research and development, manufacturing (including local production and technology transfer), regulation, selection and procurement, awareness, advocacy and addressing access barriers in general.

The implementation of the resolution will build and expand on previous and current work at three levels of WHO to help countries improve access to diagnostic services. The Secretariat is requested to report on implementation progress in 2025.

Related document

Strengthening diagnostics capacity



05/26/2023   WHO News

Gearing up for a historic UN High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage

Member States expressed alarm that millions of people cannot access life-saving and health-enhancing interventions. Out-of-pocket spending on health catastrophically affects over 1 billion people, pushing hundreds of millions of people into extreme poverty. The situation has worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response, Member States agreed a resolution supporting preparations for the United Nations High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in September 2023. UHC means that all people have access to the full range of quality health services they need without financial hardship.

In a transformative policy shift, Member States across high-, middle- and low-income countries expressed strong commitment to reorient their health systems based on primary health care (PHC) as a foundation for achieving health for all and reaching the furthest left behind first. About 90% of UHC interventions can be delivered using a PHC approach; from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care, potentially saving 60 million lives by 2030.

The Member States emphasized the importance of demonstrating the highest-level political commitment at the HLM in September with the aim of achieving resulting in a concise, action-oriented declaration for UHC.

Related documents

Preparation for the high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on universal health coverage


Stronger national plans needed for emergency care to respond to all hazards

In a new resolution agreed today, the World Health Assembly called for timely additional global efforts to strengthen the planning and provision of quality emergency, critical and operative care (ECO) services. Robust ECO services are at the foundation of national health systems, and the need to be able to respond effectively to emergency events, including all hazards.

Concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic revealed pervasive gaps in the capacity, preparedness of delivery of ECO worldwide, the Assembly urges Member States to, among other actions, create national policies for sustainable funding, effective governance and universal access to needs-based ECO care for all; and promote more coherent, inclusive and accessible approaches to safeguard effective ECO care in disasters, fragile settings and conflict-affected areas.

The Assembly requests the Secretariat to provide progress reports on implementation of this resolution in 2025, 2027 and 2029. 

Related documents

Integrated emergency, critical and operative care for universal health coverage and protection from health emergencies

Related links


More cost-effective “best buys” endorsed to save lives from noncommunicable diseases

Delegates today endorsed a new menu of cost-effective interventions recommended by WHO recognized as “best buys” to help prevent and control noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). It includes an increased number of “best buys”, giving countries of every income level more options to save more lives from the world's top killers.

Among these are prevention interventions such as support to help people quit smoking, promotion and support for breastfeeding and policies to protect children from harmful food marketing.

The updated “best buys” also include treatment for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and the early diagnosis and treatment of cancers such as breast, cervical, colorectal and childhood cancers. They also integrate early detection and comprehensive treatment of cancer for people living with HIV.

The interventions will help countries to accelerate national action to prevent and control NCDs, accelerating progress towards achieving the SDG 3.4 target and paving the way for increased political commitment in the lead-up to the fourth High-level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on the prevention and control of NCDs in 2025.

The Health Assembly also took note of the report on the acceleration plan to support Member States in implementing the recommendations for the prevention and management of obesity over the life course. Twenty-eight countries are now rolling out the acceleration plan, the progress will be recorded and reported back to the Assembly. Their experiences will inform policies and action for all other Member States to accelerate action on obesity.

Related documents

EB152 (11)
Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, and mental health


Refugee and migrant health global action plan extended until 2030

Refugees and migrants have a right to access health services during their journey and in the host country without experiencing financial hardship. This effort has an important place in the overall global drive for universal health coverage by 2030.

Today in Committee B Member States agreed a resolution to extend the WHO Global Action Plan on promoting the health of refugees and migrants until 2030. The global action plan addresses various challenges faced by refugees and migrants and outlines specific measures to be put in place, such as:

  • reorienting health systems to include integrated and inclusive health services, programmes, and policies for refugees and migrants, within the principles of universal health coverage;
  • monitoring the results of refugee and migrant health policies, plans, and interventions to allow updates and redesign of those actions in countries;
  • increasing the capacity of health systems to meet the specific health needs of refugees and migrants and provide health services that are respectful of a person’s cultural, religious, and linguistic needs; and
  • integrating refugee and migrant health in global, regional and national initiatives, partnerships, and health forums.

The resolution lists a range of actions to be taken by the WHO Secretariat, such as convening informal consultations at least every two years with Member States to identify and share challenges, lessons learned, and best practices for the implementation of actions within the WHO global action plan; providing technical assistance, developing guidelines and promoting knowledge sharing; as well as collaboration and coordination within and among Member States.

The decision comes ahead of the Third global consultation on the health of refugees and migrants to take place in June 2023, which aims to assess progress, build further political commitment on refugee and migrant health, inform future policy deliberations, including the upcoming 2023 General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage, and guide the continuous implementation of WHO global action plan.

The WHO Secretariat will report on the progress in implementing this resolution to the Health Assembly in 2025, 2027, and 2029.

Related documents

Extension of the WHO global action plan on promoting the health of refugees and migrants, 2019–2023 to 2030

Related links


WHO traditional medicine strategy extended to 2025

The World Health Assembly (WHA) today agreed to extend the WHO traditional medicine strategy 2014-2023 for an additional two years, until 2025. The Assembly requested the Director-General to draft a new global strategy 2025–2034 and present it to the 78th WHA in 2025 for consideration.

The Assembly recognized the efforts of Member States to evaluate the potential of traditional and complementary Medicine (T&CM) through an evidence-based approach, including rigorous clinical research. It also recognized the value and the diversity of the cultures of Indigenous Peoples and local communities and their holistic traditional knowledge.

The decision highlighted the importance of WHO’s role in providing technical support for the integration of evidence-based T&CM into national health systems and services, and the support to regulation of T&CM practices, products and practitioners.

Under the 2014-2023 strategy, WHO is supporting countries that wish to develop a proactive policy towards this important - and often vibrant and expanding - part of health care. WHO’s strategic policy and technical support enables countries to harness the potential of T&CM in contributing to health, well-being, and people-centred health care. 

Since 2014, WHO has been focused on building the knowledge base for active management of T&CM and the appropriate integration, regulation and supervision of evidence-based, safe and quality T&CM into national health systems and services.

Related documents

WHO traditional medicine strategy: 2014–2023, Report by the Director-General

Related links


Resolution on Increasing access to medical oxygen

Member States endorsed a resolution recognizing the critical role of medical oxygen for treatment of hypoxemia (blood oxygen deficiency) across many diseases, including pneumonia and tuberculosis, and in particular for older populations and other vulnerable groups, and for surgery and trauma.

In developing countries many health facilities lack uninterrupted access to medical oxygen, resulting in preventable deaths – a problem that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, when the need for medical oxygen has exceeded the capacities of many health systems.

Oxygen has been included on the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (EML) since 1979 and has been included in the WHO EML for children (EMLc) since its first edition in 2007. There are no therapeutic alternatives to oxygen on the Model Lists.

This resolution recognizes that medical oxygen generation and distribution requires a specialized infrastructure. It also underscores the need for its delivery to be safely and accurately executed using good quality medical devices through interdisciplinary health workforce, including engineers.

The new resolution urges Member States to set up, as appropriate, national and subnational medical oxygen systems in order to secure the uninterrupted provision of medical oxygen to health care facilities at all levels including both rural and urban set-ups. It underlines WHO’s role in supporting Member States through developing guidelines, technical specifications, forecasting tools, training materials and other resources, and by providing technical support especially designed to improve access to medical oxygen to meet the needs of health systems in developing countries. 

Related documents

The above items were included in the following documents:

Reorienting health systems to primary health care as a resilient foundation for universal health coverage and preparations for a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly on universal health coverage, Report by the Director-General

A76/7 Rev.1 
The consolidated report by the Director-General

A76/7 Add.1 - Political declaration of the third high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases, and mental health, Report by the Director-General

EB 152.4
Increasing access to medical oxygen

Related links


Polio eradication and transition planning

The WHA evaluated the unique epidemiological opportunity which exists over the next six months to eradicate the remaining chains of endemic wild poliovirus transmission. Operations need to be adapted to reach the remaining un- or under-immunized children in the identified subnational consequential geographies.

The Assembly noted that the effort to eradicate polio remains a Public Health Emergency of International Concern under the auspices of the International Health Regulations and urged countries to minimize the risk and consequences of spread of disease to polio-free areas.

At the same time, delegates called for continued global support to the effort, to ensure all necessary financial and political commitments to achieve success are mobilized. Noting the role the polio infrastructure plays in broader public health efforts, delegates urged this infrastructure to be transitioned into national health plans in a context-specific manner.

In conclusion, the Assembly called for collective and global collaboration to achieve a lasting polio-free world once and for all.

Related documents

Poliomyelitis eradication, Report by the Director-General

Polio transition planning and polio post-certification, Report by the Director-General

Related links


Delegates highlight priority actions to catch-up, restore and strengthen immunization services

Today Member States and partners participated in a Strategic Roundtable on A safer and healthier tomorrow through restoring essential immunization today. Immunization is a priority programme for WHO, particularly in 2023, following the significant setbacks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. With 67 million children missing at least one essential vaccine during the last three years finding these children is a matter of urgency.

Efforts to find zero-dose children (children who have not received one single dose of vaccine) will require effort from organizations and individuals at all levels – global, national and local - to catch-up on vaccination coverage, and recover and strengthen their immunization programmes. As Dr George Mwinnyaa, a community health worker pointed out “Community health workers know where the zero-dose children are, they do not need maps for their own communities”.

Today’s roundtable was a collaborative discussion about the role of community and frontline health workers in catch-up efforts, along with the funding and partnerships required to recover from programme disruptions and to strengthen systems to ensure equitable access to immunization services.

The session was introduced by Dr Kate O’Brien, WHO Director, Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, moderated by Renee Ngamau and featured Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General; Dr Ali Haji Adam Abubakar, Minister of Health, Somalia; Dr Seth Berkley, CEO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Dr Yassen Tcholakov, Health worker, Canada; Dr George Mwinnya, Community health worker, Ghana; Dr Sheetal Sharma, Senior Immunization Advisor, CORE Group; and Dr Andrei Cazacu, Ministry of Health, Moldova.

“We have an emergency in front of us”, said Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage, Life Course, in concluding the session “the clock is ticking, we will act now and act together.”

Related links:



05/26/2023   WHO News
During a moving ceremony at the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly in Geneva, awards were presented to persons and institutions from around the world for their outstanding contributions to public health.
05/26/2023   WHO News
WHO and the Republic of Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a global training hub in biomanufacturing. This global training centre will serve all low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to produce biologicals, such as vaccines, insulin, monoclonal antibodies, and cancer medicines.
05/25/2023   WHO News

Progress and challenges in women’s, children’s and adolescent health

The World Health Assembly delegates in Committee A discussed progress against the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent Health (2016-2030). During the discussion, which took place over two days, drawing comments from a high number of Member States, the delegates strongly reiterated their commitment to the Strategy as a priority for global health and expressed alarm about stalling progress in improving maternal and newborn survival.

The Director-General’s report on the Strategy presented to the World Health Assembly expressed alarm that maternal mortality rates have stagnated since 2016. Furthermore, if current trends continue, it said, 54 countries will fall short of meeting the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target for under-five mortality and 63 countries will not achieve the SDG target for neonatal mortality. Levels of violence against women and girls remain alarmingly high, while mental health challenges represent an increasing health threat for adolescents.

Delegates emphasized the importance of an integrated, life-course approach to improve outcomes, including access to sexual and reproductive health services, as well as greater efforts and investment to accelerate progress in the poorest, fragile and conflict-affected countries.

Related links

  • A76/5 Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health (2016–2030) Report by the Director-General
  • Related progress reports

Member States urge WHO to keep momentum on work to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct

Committee B this afternoon discussed the Prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (Item 22.1) as part of the Review of and update on matters considered by the Executive Board (Item 22, Pillar 4)

The Committee heard the recommendations of the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board and the Committee’s Chair opened the floor. Australia spoke on behalf of 61 Member States from across WHO’s regions; Botswana spoke on behalf of the 47 African Region Member States; Israel, India, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Kenya, the United States of America, South Africa, Maldives, Ecuador, Bangladesh and Peru also took the floor.

All speakers acknowledged the significant progress made by WHO in tackling sexual misconduct and welcomed both the new Policy on Addressing Sexual Misconduct (PASM), launched in March 2023, and the three-year strategy to prevent and respond to sexual misconduct, launched in January this year. Member States highlighted the need for the conclusion of the cases relating to the response to the 10th Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2018-2019) including holding perpetrators to account and supporting victims and survivors comprehensively. They welcomed WHO’s transparency in publishing dashboards capturing both investigations and disciplinary action taken. They encouraged WHO to continue to make progress and lead by example within the UN system. Member States stressed that preventing and responding to sexual misconduct is a shared responsibility and they will continue to support WHO.

The Director-General thanked Member States for their support and reminded Member States that WHO is focusing on four areas: changing the organizational culture – a process that takes time; having safe and trusted reporting mechanisms in place; ensuring swift and credible investigations and setting deadlines for the end-to-end process (200 days); and following a victim and survivor-centered approach.

Related links

A76/7 Rev.1
Consolidated report by the Director-General

Prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment
Report of the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board to the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly

Sustainable financing: feasibility of a replenishment mechanism

The Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly adopted the recommendations of the Working Group on Sustainable Financing, requesting WHO to explore the feasibility of a replenishment mechanism to broaden further the financing base. 

In response, WHO submitted an assessment of the feasibility of such replenishment mechanism. Member States noted the report and reaffirmed the need for more sustainable, predictable and flexible financing of WHO. The report summarizes the analysis of the six principles that are to serve as the basis for considering a WHO replenishment mechanism and proposes the major elements of a first “WHO investment round” to implement such a mechanism in 2024. 

Member States adopted a decision welcoming the continued effort to sustainably finance WHO and requested a plan for the First Investment Round in 2024, in closer consultation with Member States, for the EB in January 2024.

Related links

A76/32A76/40 and A76/40 Add.1 

Results Report 2022, Financial report and audit for year ended 31 December 2022

Financing and implementation Programme Budget 22-23 and outlook of Programme Budget 24-25  

Member States welcomed the Results Report and the detailed work found therein. Further progress is needed to achieve the triple billion targets towards attaining the health-related Sustainable Development Goals and meeting other health challenges. 

The mid-term review of the Programme Budget 2022–2023 shows that, despite the progress in 2022 towards the triple billion targets, outcomes and outputs, based on the GPW 13 results framework, the world is not on track to meet the targets.  While much has been achieved, further urgent action is needed to achieve the goals. 

In addition, key accomplishments and selected impact case studies are highlighted in the report to exemplify how the Secretariat and Member States work together to drive health impact at the country level, where it matters most. 

The Health Assembly noted the Results Report.  

Member States also noted the reports on financing and implementation of the Programme Budget. Despite positive trends, as of 31 March 2023, the base programmes of WHO have a funding gap of US$ 443.8 million, after including projections of voluntary contributions. The current gap is compounded by the challenge of persisting “pockets of poverty” – underscoring the urgent need for more sustainable financing.  

Related links


Results Report 2022 (Programme budget 2022–2023: performance assessment)
Mid-term review of implementation of the Programme budget 2022–2023 


Audited Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2022 


Voluntary contributions by fund and by contributor, 2022 


WHO reform
WHO presence in countries, territories and areas: 2023 report 

WHO’s Contribution towards health outcomes from the Results Report 


Financing and implementation of the Programme budget 2022–2023 and outlook on financing of the Programme budget 2024–2025  


Financing and implementation of the Programme budget 2022–2023 and outlook on financing of the Programme budget 2024–2025
Reporting on operational efficiencies 

Delegates support maintaining momentum and innovations to end TB 

Today delegates at the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly participated in a Strategic Roundtable on Ending TB by 2030: Universal access to care, multisectoral collaboration, and innovations to accelerate progress and combat antimicrobial resistance.

TB, a treatable and curable communicable disease, remains a top infectious killer, claiming 1.6 million lives and affecting millions of additional lives and livelihoods annually.

Ministers of health, leaders from civil society, partner organizations and WHO shared first-hand reflections on global and national leadership and innovations to end TB, as well as challenges and concerns, including increasing threats of antimicrobial resistance.

Dr Atul Gawande, Deputy Administrator, USAID and Ambassador Zbigniew Czech, Permanent Representative of Poland to the UN Office in Geneva, highlighted the importance of building stronger partnerships and integrating TB services into primary health care.

Delegates heard stories of halted and reversed progress; Dr Ethel Leonor Noia Maciel, Secretary of Health, Brazil noted declining rates of TB service coverage during the pandemic while also highlighting the need for shared responsibility and resources across sectors to tackle the core drivers of the TB epidemic.

There were stories of resilience too; Sylvia Masebo, Minister of Health, Zambia, which is one of the 30 high TB burden countries, reported that the country managed to maintain progress despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and shared lessons learned on how combating TB and COVID-19 could strengthen pandemic preparedness.  Mr Setiaji, Deputy Minister for Health Technology, Indonesia described the country’s new innovative national health financing strategy, its efforts to provide equitable TB services and the country’s commitment to advance TB research, in particular for new vaccine development.

Top leaders in the fight against TB noted the importance of the political momentum in the lead up to the upcoming second UN High-Level Meeting (HLM) on TB which will take place in September. The HLM can provide the political impetus needed to turn the tide in the fight against TB and fast-track progress to attain the critical TB related targets of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

Related links  


05/24/2023   WHO News

Work continues to strengthen preparedness and response for health emergencies

Today at the World Health Assembly, delegates in Committee A concluded discussions on Item 14 and parts of Item 15, noting the reports under these items, voting on two proposals, and agreeing to defer another for later in the week.   

The WHO Secretariat responded to comments and questions from delegates, observers and other organizations received over the past day. The Chief Scientist said work would continue to strengthen clinical trials in emergencies. WHO's Executive Director of emergencies appreciated Member States’ support for WHO’s ongoing work in emergencies, and the recognition of the need to give the organization the resources it needs to continue. (WHO is currently responding to over 55 emergencies that have received official grading, 14 of which requiring support from all three levels of the organization). The Director-General said WHO would continue to work to align the various processes for pandemic prevention, preparedness and response.     

Delegates noted the following reports: one from the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme which reviews WHO’s work in emergencies annually, a regular report on the implementation of the International Health Regulations, WHO’s annual report on its work in emergencies, and its work on strengthening preparedness for and response to emergencies. The latter included a paper on strengthening the global architecture for health emergency preparedness, response and resilience (known by the acronym HEPR).   

Delegates voted on two proposals related to the health emergency in Ukraine. The draft decision on “Health emergency in Ukraine and refugee-receiving and -hosting countries, stemming from the Russian Federation’s aggression” was adopted (80 yes, 9 no, 52 abstentions). The draft resolution on “Health emergency in and around Ukraine” was not adopted (62 no, 13 yes, 61 abstentions).  

On the Global Health for Peace Initiative, delegates agreed to consider the item later in the Assembly, following informal consultations slated to continue.   

In Committee B, delegates considered a report on “Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.” In a vote, they adopted the decision (76 yes, 13 no, 35 abstentions). 

Related documents 

Documents A76/7 Rev.1 Add.2, A76/7 Rev.1 Add.3, A76/8, A76/9 Rev.1, A76/10, A76/11, A76/12 and A76/15  

A76/7 Rev.1 Add.2 
Global Health for Peace InitiativeA76/7 Rev.1 Add.3Financial and administrative implications for the Secretariat of decisions proposed for adoption by the Health AssemblyA76/7 Rev.1 Add.4Financial and administrative implications for the Secretariat of decisions proposed for adoption by the Health AssemblyA76/8Public health emergencies: preparedness and responseThe Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies ProgrammeA76/9 Rev.1Implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005)A76/10Strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergenciesStrengthening the global architecture for health emergency preparedness, response and resilienceA76/11WHO’s work in health emergenciesPublic health emergencies: preparedness and responseA76/12 
Implementation of resolution WHA75.11 (2022)  

A76/15Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan 


Delegates discuss critical financing needs to address climate related health crisis

Today, Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly delegates participated in a Strategic Roundtable on The role of the health community in climate action: taking stock and moving forward, during which the critical intersections of climate change and health were discussed, including its impact on millions of people worldwide.

The meeting heard compassionate pleas from John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change and Dr Vanessa Kerry, Chief Executive Officer of Seed Global Health. The father and daughter climate advocates highlighted the top political importance of the agenda for today’s and future generations, pushing for smarter investments and solutions to bring a catalytic impact across sectors.

As the incoming Presidency for COP28, the United Arab Emirates pledged to further elevate the importance of health by announcing the first-ever dedicated Health Day and the convening of the inaugural Health and Climate Ministerial meeting at the forthcoming Conference of the Parties (COP) in Dubai in November 2023.

Germany underscored its commitment of €2 billion additional funding for the Green Climate Fund to support efforts in low- and middle-income countries. The BBC Studios also showcased its upcoming production, entitled “Climate and Us”, underlining the importance of public communication and discussion on climate and health crisis.

The meeting heard that 70% of reporting countries identified lack of funding as a top barrier in addressing the health impacts of climate change. Through the WHO ATACH (Alliance for Transformative Action on Climate and Health) initiative, already supported by 66 countries, WHO is reviewing whether existing finance mechanisms can be adapted to meet this challenge, or whether new instruments are needed.

In concluding the strategic discussion, the WHO Director-General highlighted that climate change and health action are falling between the siloes of climate financing and health financing and emphasized the need for urgent and increased investment in the climate and health agenda.



05/24/2023   WHO News
On World No Tobacco Day, WHO urges governments to stop subsidizing tobacco farming and support more sustainable crops that could feed millions.
05/24/2023   WHO News
FIFA and WHO have agreed to extend their collaboration and to continue to use the power of football to promote healthy lifestyles and equal access to health services worldwide.
05/24/2023   WHO News
WHO together with Swiss and Geneva partners, the UN family, Member States, athletes, local sports clubs, and health partners came together on Sunday 21 May 2023, to celebrate the importance of healthy lifestyles and to kick off the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly.
05/23/2023   WHO News
WHO is delighted to announce the appointment of internationally acclaimed artists Renée Fleming and Pretty Yende as Goodwill Ambassadors for Arts and Health.
05/23/2023   WHO News

Delegates discuss WHO’s work in emergencies

Country delegates considered a number of emergencies-related items today, as Items 14 and parts of item 15 were grouped together. They provided their views on the reports from the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (IOAC), on implementation of the International Health Regulations, on WHO’s work in emergencies, as well as in strengthening preparedness for and response to emergencies. Countries also discussed the report on the health situation in Ukraine, and the report of the Global Health for Peace Initiative. 

Delegates commended WHO's work in emergencies throughout the pandemic and beyond, agreeing with the findings of the IOAC that the work was excellent, but that the Emergencies programme was underfunded and overstretched. Some delegates highlighted the role that the Contingency Fund for Emergencies has played in allowing the organization to respond quickly. They encouraged global efforts for strengthening preparedness and response to health emergencies, learning the lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, and reiterated the importance of an aligned global health architecture, placing WHO at the centre. Several spoke of the need to align various initiatives to avoid duplication and strengthen their impact. Some noted the need for continued work to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse. Delegates spoke in support of the Global Health for Peace initiative, and the strengthening of clinical trials, asking WHO for further guidance and support to build capacities in country in this area, to improve the quality of research and interventions. 

The draft resolutions and decisions will be considered on Wednesday, as currently scheduled.  

Related documents

Documents A76/7 Rev.1, A76/7 Rev.1 Add.2, A76/7 Rev.1 Add.3, A76/8, A76/9 Rev.1, A76/10, A76/11, A76/12

A76/7 Rev.1 Add.2
Global Health for Peace Initiative

A76/7 Rev.1 Add.3
Financial and administrative implications for the Secretariat of decisions proposed for adoption by the Health Assembly

Public health emergencies: preparedness and response
The Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme

A76/9 Rev.1
Implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005)

Strengthening WHO preparedness for and response to health emergencies
Strengthening the global architecture for health emergency preparedness, response and resilience

WHO’s work in health emergencies
Public health emergencies: preparedness and response

Implementation of resolution WHA75.11 (2022)


Strategic discussion on global health workforce priorities for universal health coverage

A Strategic Roundtable discussion was held on Protecting and investing in the health and care workforce: An action-oriented agenda for the second half of the SDGs, underscoring the role of political leadership and intersectoral governance on this priority health agenda. The deliberations and outcomes from the Fifth Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, held recently under the theme of “Protect, Invest, Together”, provided a foundation for the roundtable discussion.

Opening the session, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reminded delegates that “Everything we are discussing this week - universal health coverage, global health security and the Sustainable Development Goals - all depend on health workers”.

The session was moderated by Sir David Behan, Non-Executive Director, NHS, United Kingdom, and featured key speakers including Mr Enzo Bondioni, Executive Director, FDI -World Dental Federation; Dr Alexandru Rafila, Minister of Health, Romania; Dr Lino Tom, Minister of Health, Papua New Guinea; H.E. Minata Samate Oessuma, Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, African Union; Ms Catherine Russell, UNICEF Executive Director; Dr Juan Pablo Uribe, Global Director for Health, Nutrition and Population, World Bank / formerly Minister of Health, Colombia; Professor Senait Fisseha, Vice President, Global Programs, Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation; and Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.

The global health workforce shortage has been declining significantly from 18 million in 2013 to 15 million in 2020 and is projected to be around 10 million by 2030. However, the data largely depict a pre-COVID-19 trend, and masks profound regional disparities: progress is slower in the African and Eastern Mediterranean Regions and Small Island Developing States. It is clear that urgent action is needed now to close the gap.

The speakers highlighted key challenges faced by the global health workforce today, including maldistribution, inefficiencies, gender disparities, workforce ageing and poor working conditions, resulting from a lack of support, protection and respect of labour rights that further compound the challenges. 

The roundtable concluded with calls to action to protect and invest in the health and care workforce and strengthen national health system capacity if the world is to attain the goals for universal health coverage and global health security. Recommended measures include:

  • protect the existing health and care workforce, including all occupational health and safety measures, safe staffing and fair pay; 
  • protect fiscal space for social spending (education, health, social protection) and allocate the budget necessary to strengthen the health and care workforce;
  • invest in increased education and supply of health professionals to meet population health needs; 
  • invest in job creation in the health economy: with a focus on national capacity for the essential public health functions, including emergency preparedness and response and primary health care;
  • invest in reducing gender inequalities among the health and care workforce, including the gender pay gap; and
  • strengthen Member States’ implementation of the WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. 

 Concluding the Strategic Roundtable, Dr Tedros said: “We know the problem and the solutions. What we miss is action and accountability. With a sense of urgency, it can be done.”



05/23/2023   WHO News

In the first-ever report of its kind, the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All has outlined a bold new path to reorient economies to deliver what matters - health for all.

The Council, created by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in November 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and chaired by Professor Mariana Mazzucato, has spent that last two years rethinking the economy from a health for all perspective, and pushing forcefully the principle that human and planetary health must be at the heart of how we design our social, health and economic systems and policies.    

The Council has put forward a bold new narrative grounded in new economic wisdom to reorient economies to deliver health for all across four interrelated themes:  

  1. Value - valuing and measuring what matters through new economic metrics;
  2. Finance - how to finance health for all as a long-term investment, not a short-term cost;
  3. Innovation - how to advance health innovation for the common good;
  4. Capacity - how to strengthen dynamic public sector capacity to achieve health for all. 

“Two years ago, I asked a team of the world’s leading economists and public health experts – all women – to create a paradigm shift. Now, instead of health for all being seen as the servant of economic growth, we have a roadmap for structuring economic activity in a way that will allow us to reach the goal of seeing all people with access to essential health services faster with better results,” said Dr Tedros. 

“Over the past two years, the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All has worked to craft a new economic narrative – one that transforms financing for health from an expenditure to an investment,” said the Council’s Chair, Professor Mariana Mazzucato. “We have examined the changes needed – including to the structure of patents, public-private partnerships, and budgets – to design an economy that delivers Health for All. In our final report, we call for new economic policy that is not about market fixing but about proactively and collaboratively shaping markets that prioritize human and planetary health.”

Launched today in conjunction with the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly, the report, entitled Health for All: Transforming economies to deliver what matters (, provides a new framework built on the above four pillars, with specific recommendations under each – drawing from the Council’s previous work.

Key recommendations include:

  • We need to value and measure the things that truly matter - human and planetary flourishing - rather than pursuing economic growth and GDP maximization regardless of the consequences. To achieve health for all, governments must rethink value and reshape and redirect the economy based on social and planetary well-being, guided by new metrics.
  • A fundamental overhaul of national and international systems for financing health is needed, so that spending on health is treated as a long-term investment. Delivering Health for All will require both more money, and higher quality financing.
  • Innovation requires collective intelligence—it is never the fruit of just one company or government agency. But unless innovation is governed for the common good, many people remain excluded from its benefits. A new end-to-end health innovation ecosystem that prioritises the common good is needed.
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic has made clear, the quality and capacity of government matters. Effective governments are not the smallest, but those that are well-designed and properly resourced, both financially and in terms of their people and infrastructure. Re-investing in government capacity is crucial to delivering Health for All.

 The report also provides suggestions on what can be done in practice to implement the changes needed to reorient measures of economic value, the financing of health, innovation and building public sector capacity in the service of health for all. Among these, the report mentions several examples, including:

  • The mRNA technology hub facility in South Africa: a values-driven system that tries to get the innovation, financing and capacity right ex-ante;
  • Brazil’s public investment in a health-industrial complex that serves the common good;
  • Regional development banks as enablers of change in the Global South;
  • The Wellbeing Economy Alliance – an alliance of several governments and over 600 other organizations working together to transform economic systems in the service of life;
  • Approaches to financing national action plans (NAPs) on antimicrobial resistance through multi sector joint budgeting, given that most NAPs remain unfunded. 

The recommendations included in the report could change the way countries view and finance health. WHO calls on policy-makers, civil society, and members of the health and economics communities to give full consideration to the recommendations and use them as a compass to develop new economic policies and structures that can move us along the road to making health for all a reality.


05/22/2023   WHO News

Member States agree to the WHO’s Programme Budget for 2024-2025, committing to a 20% increase of assessed contributions (membership fees).

During discussions in Committee A of the Assembly, Member States agreed today the draft resolution with the proposed programme of work for the next two years (2024-2025). The budget to deliver on this programme was also agreed, at US$ 6.83 billion, the most ambitious to date, and which includes a historical 20% increase of assessed contributions (or membership fees). The Secretariat and the Director-General thanked Member States for the overwhelming strong support for the resolution, and the confidence and trust placed in WHO. Nearly forty Member States took the floor. Decisions taken during the week in the Committees, are subject to a final procedural step, of approval by the plenary at the end of the Assembly. 

Financing the programme budget is essential to ensuring that WHO with its Member States can achieve the triple billion targets. Investing in WHO returns US$ 35 for every US$ 1 invested, highlights WHO’s investment case (A Healthy Return).

The budget is allocated around the following strategic priorities : 

  • One billion more people benefiting from universal health coverage, US$ 1966.4 million; 
  • One billion more people better protected from health emergencies, US$ 1214.0 million; 
  • One billion more people enjoying better health and well-being, US$ 437.7 million; 
  • More effective and efficient WHO support to countries, US$ 1350.0 million;

This makes a total of US$ 4968.2 million for the base programmes, which remains unchanged with respect the Programme budget 2022–2023; 

In addition, the approved budget includes:

  • Polio eradication (US$ 694.3 million), special programmes (US$ 171.7 million) totalling US$ 866.0 million; 
  • Emergency operations and appeals (US$ 1000 million).

With the increased assessed contributions, Member States will contribute US$ 1148.3 million towards this budget with their membership fees. The rest, US$ 5 685.8 million will be covered by voluntary contributions made by Member States and other contributors.  

The 20% increase of assessed contributions was a commitment agreed by last year’s Health Assembly , one of the recommendations made by the Working Group on Sustainable Financing. Other recommendations linked to WHO’S sustainable financing covering reforms on accountability, governance and financing will be further considered this week.

Related documents

Documents A76/4, A76/4 Add.1, A76/4 Add.2 and A76/43


Proposed programme budget 2024–2025

A76/4 Add.1

Proposed programme budget 2024–2025

A76/4 Add.2

Draft resolution:

Programme budget 2024–2025


Proposed programme budget 2024–2025

Report of the Programme, Budget and Administration Committee of the Executive Board to the Seventy-sixth World Health Assembly