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06/22/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Santhigram Group, a pioneer in Ayurvedic wellness and holistic health, celebrated its 26th anniversary with a memorable event attended by clients, staff, and well-wishers. The celebration reflected Santhigram's humble beginnings and its growth into a global leader in Ayurvedic wellness....

06/22/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

ORLANDO, Fla., June 22, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Gilgal Medical Supplies, a leading provider of high-quality medical equipment and supplies, is proud to announce its expansion into multiple cities across Florida. This strategic growth aims to address the critical need for durable...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

BodyHealth's strawberry flavored PERFECT AMINO™ dietary supplement has been confirmed not to contain the banned substance Ostarine by two separate ISO 17025 accredited laboratories, BSCG and Harken Research. These results contradict professional boxer Ryan Garcia, who implicated the...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

The FDA has expanded orphan drug designation for SurVaxM, a brain cancer immunotherapy born in the labs of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. The supplemental designation applies to SurVaxM as treatment for not just adult glioblastoma but any malignant glioma in children or adults....

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

The Esthetician's Alliance of America issues an advisory with guidance for medical and esthetic industry professionals during the International Esthetics, Cosmetics, and Spa Conference (IECSC Las Vegas). The organization provides the FDA's counterfeit botox alert and the legal risks of...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

The Industrial Truck Association hosted the 11th annual National Forklift Safety Day, featuring an impressive lineup of industry leaders and safety experts. WASHINGTON, June 21, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- The Industrial Truck Association (ITA) proudly hosted the 11th annual National...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Dr. David Salehani, a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Los Angeles, has been recognized as a 2024 Top Patient Rated Oral and Facial Surgeon by Find Local Doctors, reflecting his exceptional patient care and comprehensive range of surgical and nonsurgical procedures. WEST...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Celebrity Hair Removal Brand Has Impacted the Confidence of Hundreds of Thousands of Clients Across 37 Locations; Will Add to Growing List of Fans at its Spa, Located at 410 South Rampart Boulevard, Suite 140, Las Vegas, Nevada 89145 LAS VEGAS, June 21, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- SEV, the...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

The international leader in online teacher training, YogaRenew, introduces new mobile app on International Yoga Day HOBOKEN, N.J., June 21, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- YogaRenew, the international leader in online yoga teacher training, today announced the launch of their digital app with...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

The Beryl Institute-Ipsos PX Pulse latest release reveals critical opportunities for US healthcare organizations. NASHVILLE, Tenn., June 21, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ --The Beryl Institute and Ipsos released findings from the 15th edition of PX Pulse, a national survey tracking peoples'...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Dr. Munique Maia, a renowned plastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic surgery, was invited to serve as a moderator at the highly anticipated 2024 American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Spring Meeting. This prestigious event, held from March 1-3, 2024, gathered leading plastic...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Holistic Management Services Solution Allows Nurses to Grow their Career and Deliver the Right Care, in the Right Place, at the Right Time SANTA CLARA COUNTY, Calif., June 21, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Avail Health, a pioneering digital health, value-based care company, announced its...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Leading senior move management company Gentle Transitions Minnesota, a WellRive company, has been named one of the Star Tribune's Top Workplaces for the 11th consecutive year. This prestigious honor highlights Gentle Transitions' commitment to fostering a positive, supportive, and...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

The new partnership expands superior foot and ankle care to communities across Greater Chicago ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill., June 21, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Ankle & Foot Surgery, LLC, an experienced and highly regarded podiatry practice based in Elk Grove Village, is proud to announce its...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Restored Path Detox in Frisco, Texas, proudly announces its partnership with Tricare insurance, providing military personnel, veterans, and their families with top-tier detox services. This collaboration ensures comprehensive coverage and access to luxurious amenities, including private...

06/21/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Singapore-based V3V Ventures invests $1.35 million in Directly.xyz and Eatr.com to advance blockchain in real estate and AI in nutritional planning. SINGAPORE, June 21, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- V3V Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital firm, has announced substantial investments...

06/20/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Research team shares new data on how XPO1 blockade may boost immune-based treatments: •New preclinical findings reported in Cellular & Molecular Immunology •XPO1 plays key role in MDSC differentiation, resulting in tumor progression •Team sees possible application for FDA-approved drug...

06/20/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Accordia Health is dedicated to promoting a healthy and active community in Coosa County. A summer initiative to provide free sports physicals at its Rockford location is one of the many ways it supports local families by ensuring young athletes begin their sports seasons strong and...

06/20/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

WASHINGTON, June 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) has unveiled a new data model demonstrating that abortion bans in extremely restrictive states are costing the US economy $68 billion per year. This significant economic loss is attributed to...

06/20/2024   PR Web Health & Fitness

Health System to be Recognized Among Honorees at CSO Conference and Awards TAMPA, Fla., June 20, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Chapters Health System, the nation's largest, not-for-profit advanced illness and hospice care organization, announced it was named a winner of a 2024 CSO Award from...

06/20/2024   WHO News
The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a medical product alert on falsified semaglutides, the type of medicines that are used for treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity in some countries.
06/19/2024   CDC Travel Notices
Dengue is a year-round risk in many parts of the world, with outbreaks commonly occurring every 2-5 years. Travelers to risk areas should prevent mosquito bites. Country List : Argentina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curaçao, Ecuador, including the Galápagos Islands, Ethiopia, Fiji, French Guiana (France), Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Indonesia, Laos, Mali, Martinique (France), Mauritius, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uruguay
06/19/2024   WHO News
The World Health Organization (WHO) congratulates Chad for having eliminated the gambiense form of human African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness, as a public health problem. It marks the first neglected tropical disease to be eliminated in the country.
06/17/2024   Seattle Times Coronavirus News

A summer COVID-19 surge is making its way through the region. It's time to mask up while traveling and take extra precautions, public health officials say.
06/14/2024   WHO News

WHO remains concerned about the escalating health crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the West Bank, where attacks on health infrastructure and increased restrictions on movement are obstructing access to health care. 

A spike in violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the war in Gaza started has resulted in the deaths of 521 Palestinians, including 126 children between 7 October 2023 and 10 June 2024. In addition, over 5200 people, 800 of them children, have been injured, adding to the growing burden of trauma and emergency care at already strained health facilities.

As of 28 May, WHO has documented 480 attacks on health care in the West Bank since 7 October 2023, resulting in 16 deaths and 95 injuries. The attacks affected 54 health facilities, 20 mobile clinics and 319 ambulances. Fifty-nine percent of the attacks occurred in the cities of Tulkarem, Jenin and Nablus. They include attacks on health infrastructure and ambulances, detention of health workers and patients, obstruction of their access to health facilities, use of force on health workers and militarized searches of ambulances and staff.

The closure of checkpoints, arbitrary obstructions, and detentions of health workers, rising insecurity, as well as the siege and closure of entire towns and communities has made movement within the West Bank increasingly restricted, impeding access to health facilities. Extensive infrastructure and housing damage, particularly in the northern West Bank, have compounded the situation by obstructing access for ambulances and first-aid responders. 

The long-standing fiscal crisis faced by the Palestinian Authority (PA) is further impacting the health system and has been worsened by Israel’s increased withholding of tax revenues meant for the occupied Palestinian territory since 7 October, and the overall deterioration of the economic situation in occupied Palestinian territory. The impact of the financial situation on health service delivery is significant – with health workers receiving only half of their salary for nearly a year and 45% of essential medications being out of stock.  In most areas of the West Bank, primary care clinics and outpatient specialty clinics are now operating two days per week, and hospitals are operating at approximately 70% capacity.

Between October 2023 and May 2024, 44% of 28 292 applications for patients to seek medical care outside the West Bank, in East Jerusalem or Israeli health facilities, have been denied or remain pending with access being mainly granted to cancer, dialysis and other lifesaving cases. In the same period, 48% of the 26 562 companion permit applications have been denied or remain pending.

A comparison between October 2022–May 2023 and October 2023–May 2024 shows a 56% decrease in the West Bank patient permit applications and 22% decrease in approvals, and a 63% decrease in companion permit applications and a 24% decrease in approvals. Prior to October 2023, over 300 patients required permits daily to cross from the West Bank to east Jerusalem and Israeli health facilities.

WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health with procurement of essential medications as well as with technical assistance to address some of the policies and procedures that contribute to the fiscal crisis in health. Additionally, WHO has pre-positioned supplies at key hospitals across the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, and conducted community trauma management training for first aid responders in the affected communities to boost emergency preparedness, but worsening insecurity and accessibility for emergency health workers and field volunteers to reach the injured, combined with the ongoing strict curfews, pose significant risks to the health system and make it very difficult for responders to reach those in need of urgent care.

WHO calls for the immediate and active protection of civilians and health care in the West Bank. International humanitarian law must be respected, which means the sanctity of health care must be observed at all times. 

06/14/2024   WHO News

The World Health Organization (WHO) today released its latest report on antibacterial agents, including antibiotics, in clinical and preclinical development worldwide. Although the number of antibacterial agents in the clinical pipeline increased from 80 in 2021 to 97 in 2023, there is a pressing need for new, innovative agents for serious infections and to replace those becoming ineffective due to widespread use.

First released in 2017, this annual report evaluates whether the current research and development (R&D) pipeline properly addresses infections caused by the drug-resistant bacteria most threatening to human health, as detailed in the 2024 WHO bacterial priority pathogen list (BPPL). Both documents aim to steer antibacterial R&D to better counter the ever-growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites no longer respond to medicines, making people sicker and increasing the risk of spread of infections that are difficult to treat, illness and deaths. AMR is driven largely by the misuse and overuse of antimicrobials, yet, at the same time, many people around the world do not have access to essential antimicrobial medicines.

“Antimicrobial resistance is only getting worse yet we’re not developing new trailblazing products fast enough to combat the most dangerous and deadly bacteria,” said Dr Yukiko Nakatani, WHO’s Assistant Director-General for Antimicrobial Resistance ad interim. “Innovation is badly lacking yet, even when new products are authorized, access is a serious challenge. Antibacterial agents are simply not reaching the patients who desperately need them, in countries of all income levels."

Not only are there too few antibacterials in the pipeline, given how long is needed for R&D and the likelihood of failure, there is also not enough innovation. Of the 32 antibiotics under development to address BPPL infections, only 12 can be considered innovative. Furthermore, just 4 of these 12 are active against at least 1 WHO ‘critical’ pathogen – critical being the BPPL’s top risk category, over ‘high’ and ‘medium’ priority. There are gaps across the entire pipeline, including in products for children, oral formulations more convenient for outpatients, and agents to tackle rising drug resistance.

Encouragingly, non-traditional biological agents, such as bacteriophages, antibodies, anti-virulence agents, immune-modulating agents and microbiome-modulating agents, are increasingly being explored as complements and alternatives to antibiotics. However, studying and regulating non-traditional agents is not straightforward. Further efforts are needed to facilitate clinical studies and assessments of these products, to help determine when and how to use these agents clinically.

Looking at newly approved antibacterials, since 1 July 2017, 13 new antibiotics have obtained marketing authorization but only 2 represent a new chemical class and can be termed innovative, underscoring the scientific and technical challenge in discovering novel antibacterials that are both effective against bacteria and safe for humans.

In addition, 3 non-traditional agents have been authorized, all are faecal-based products for restoring the gut microbiota, to prevent recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI) following antibiotic treatment in adults.

The preclinical pipeline is active and innovative, with many non-traditional approaches, as part of a stable number of preclinical candidates over the last 4 years. Its focus remains Gram-negative pathogens, which are resistant to last-resort antibiotics. Gram-negative bacteria have built-in abilities to find new ways to resist treatment and can pass along genetic material that allows other bacteria to become drug resistant as well.

The shift towards antibacterial agents targeting a single pathogen appears to have plateaued. Agents targeting a single pathogen increase the need for widely available and affordably priced rapid diagnostics, to ensure the relevant bacteria are present in the infections to be treated.

Greater transparency in the pipeline would: facilitate collaboration around potentially innovative but challenging projects, help scientists and drug developers, and generate more interest and funding for drug development for novel antibacterial agents.

Efforts to develop new antibacterial agents need to be accompanied by parallel efforts to ensure they can be equitably accessed, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Universal access to quality and affordable tools for preventing, diagnosing and treating infections is key to mitigating AMR’s impact on public health and the economy, as per WHO’s Strategic and Operational Priorities for Addressing AMR in the Human Health Sector, the AMR resolution adopted by the 77th World Health Assembly and the People-centred approach to addressing AMR and core package of AMR interventions.

 

06/13/2024   WHO News

We, the Principals of the affected United Nations (UN) entities and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), call for the immediate and unconditional release of all personnel held in Yemen by the Houthi de facto authorities.

We are extremely concerned about the Houthi de facto authorities’ recent detention of 17 members of our organizations [UN entities and INGOs] and many others associated with civil society organizations, national and international NGOs, and other organizations supporting humanitarian activities.

These detentions are unprecedented – not only in Yemen but globally – and directly impede our ability to reach the most vulnerable people in Yemen, including the 18.2 million people who need humanitarian aid and protection.

We ask the de facto authorities to confirm the exact whereabouts of those detained and the conditions in which they are being held, as well as for immediate access to them.

International law prohibits the arbitrary deprivation of liberty. International Humanitarian Law requires all parties to armed conflict to respect and protect humanitarian personnel, including against harassment, mistreatment, and unlawful arrest or detention.

The targeting of humanitarian, human rights, and development workers in Yemen must stop. All those detained must be immediately released.

 

Signed by:

Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP

Amitabh Behar, Executive Director (interim), Oxfam International

Audrey Azoulay, Director-General, UNESCO

Catherine Russell, Executive Director, UNICEF

Cindy McCain, Executive Director, WFP

Inger Ashing, Chief Executive Officer, Save the Children International

Michelle Nunn, President and CEO, CARE

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO

Volker Türk, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR

06/13/2024   Seattle Times Coronavirus News

Here’s what to know about symptoms, testing and treatment if you fall ill with coronavirus. In general, the more immunity you’ve built up, the milder your next bout is likely to be.
06/12/2024   Seattle Times Coronavirus News

A new study suggests that having had COVID-19 might lower your risk of getting colds caused by milder coronavirus "cousins." This could help vaccine development, too.
06/12/2024   Seattle Times Coronavirus News

The shot targets a new version of the virus, advisers say. It bolsters your body’s defense system. And it’s a lot better than getting very sick or hospitalized.
06/11/2024   WHO News
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, in collaboration with partners, is announcing support for human rabies vaccines for post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) as part of routine immunisation. Eligible countries are receiving guidance on how to access these vaccines under Gavi’s cofinancing policy. The first round of applications will be reviewed in July 2024. Ninety-five percent of human rabies deaths occur in Africa and Asia, most often in marginalised communities that lack access to care.
06/09/2024   CDC Travel Notices
There is an outbreak of mpox in 25 out of 26 provinces, including urban areas, in the DRC.
06/06/2024   Seattle Times Coronavirus News

The symptoms of COVID can look similar to those caused by allergies or other infections. The best way to tell the difference is to test.
06/05/2024   Seattle Times Coronavirus News

A new report recognizes the seriousness and persistence of long COVID for millions of Americans.
06/05/2024   WHO News
The World Health Organization (WHO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr José Luis Castro as WHO Director-General Special Envoy for Chronic Respiratory Diseases. Chronic respiratory diseases (CRD), including asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), affect nearly half a billion people worldwide. Despite their significant impact, these diseases have often been overlooked in global health discussions, lacking the necessary recognition and resources.
06/04/2024   CDC Travel Notices
There are outbreaks of Oropouche fever in parts of Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, and Cuba. Travelers to affected areas should take steps to avoid bug bites. Country List : Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Cuba
06/03/2024   Seattle Times Coronavirus News

Dr. Anthony Fauci was back before Congress, calling Republican allegations that he’d tried to cover up COVID-19's origins “simply preposterous.”
06/01/2024   WHO News

World Health Assembly agreement reached on wide-ranging, decisive package of amendments to improve the International Health Regulations, and sets date for finalizing negotiations on a proposed Pandemic Agreement

In a historic development, the World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of the World Health Organization's 194 member countries, today agreed on a package of critical amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR), and made concrete commitments to completing negotiations on a global pandemic agreement within a year, at the latest, and possibly in 2024. These critical actions have been taken in order to ensure comprehensive, robust systems are in place in all countries to protect the health and safety of all people everywhere from the risk of future outbreaks and pandemics.

These decisions represent two important steps by countries, taken in tandem with one another on the final day of the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly, to build on lessons learned from several global health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The package of amendments to the Regulations will strengthen global preparedness, surveillance and responses to public health emergencies, including pandemics.

Related documents 

A77/A/CONF./14 Amendments to International Health Regulations (2005) agreed at Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly

More information on the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body website 

 

Items finalized after 5 pm on Friday 31 May

Report on health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory last year

On 31 May 2024, the World Health Assembly noted the report on health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan. The report detailed support for healthcare in the Palestinian territory up to October 2023, before the escalation. The Health Assembly also approved a decision on the same topic, with four further amendments.

Related documents

A77/18 Report on Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan (1 January to 7 October 2023)

A77/B/CONF./1 Decision on Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

A77/B/CONF./3 Amendment to Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

A77/B/CONF./4 Amendments to Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan

Current health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem

Member States noted the report by the WHO Director-General on the public health implications of the crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory, as well as east Jerusalem. The report outlines the unprecedented humanitarian crisis, characterized by soaring levels of civilian mortality and morbidity, forced displacements, destruction of essential infrastructure and targeting of the health-care system. It notes that mass displacements, severe overcrowding and scant access to water, sanitation and health care for displaced people significantly increase the risk of infectious disease outbreaks. It outlines the work WHO has done to respond to the crisis, including coordination of the health response with partners, and high-risk missions to hospitals to assess conditions, deliver critical supplies, coordinate the deployment of emergency medical teams, and support patient evacuation. The report calls for a ceasefire, access for humanitarian workers and aid, and adherence to international humanitarian law.

Related document

A77/12 Report on Health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory, including east Jerusalem

Aligning the participation of Palestine in the WHO with its participation in the UN 

On Friday 31 May 2024, Member States approved a Resolution on aligning the participation of Palestine in WHO with its participation in the UN. The Resolution grants Palestine, in its capacity as an Observer State, in the World Health Assembly and other WHO meetings, expanded rights and privileges, including being seated among Member States, the right to speak on a wider range of topics, to submit proposals, and to hold certain positions in the Health Assembly. Palestine retains the status of Observer and as such, cannot vote or put forward candidacy for WHO organs. This is the first time the World Health Assembly has described Palestine as a State.

The United Nations granted Palestine non-Member Observer State status in 2012 and in May this year the UN’s General Assembly granted Palestine extended rights as an Observer State (see United Nations General Assembly Resolution A/RES/ES-10/23).

Related document

A77/B/CONF./2 Aligning the participation of Palestine in the World Health Organization with its participation in the United Nations

Strengthening health emergency preparedness and response in cities and urban settings

Cities are especially vulnerable to health emergencies and need to be better prepared for future outbreaks. In this context, the World Health Assembly noted the Resolution on Strengthening health emergency preparedness and response in cities and urban settings. The Resolution urges Member States to sustain political commitment and strengthen multisectoral approaches in national health emergency preparedness and response policies, by developing, solidifying, and implementing comprehensive health emergency plans that incorporate regular simulation exercises and thorough after-action reviews, all conducted through a multisectoral approach. The Resolution also calls on WHO to provide technical support to Member States.

Related documents

WHA75.7 Strengthening health emergency preparedness and response in cities and urban settings

Related link

Strengthening health emergency preparedness in cities and urban settings: guidance for national and local authorities

 

Global health leaders convene a Strategic Roundtable on climate change and health

Global health leaders and experts convened for a Strategic Roundtable to address the critical intersection of climate change and health. This Roundtable aligned with WHO's new strategic objectives, reflecting achievements and future challenges in global health and underscored the landmark resolution on health and climate change approved earlier in the week by the Health Assembly. This event, held in anticipation of COP 29 and as part of the World Health Assembly, aimed to bolster momentum and shape the global health architecture for tackling climate change. Keynote speakers emphasized the urgency of the issue and the necessity for collaborative action to mitigate the health impacts of climate change and promote health mitigation policies in other sectors.

Richard Horton, Editor in Chief of The Lancet, opened the meeting by highlighting the pressing nature of the climate crisis.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, highlighted WHO’s shift in focus towards climate health action.

Former United States of America Vice President Al Gore provided opening remarks via video, and Dr Teymur Musayev, Minister of Healthcare, the Republic of Azerbaijan emphasized the great example of collaboration and coordination between health and environment ministers and provided a vision for health at the upcoming COP 29.

Hon. Dr Atonio Lalabalavu from the Republic of Fiji addressed climate change and health justice in small island developing states (SIDS), while Adnan Z. Amin, CEO of COP 28, highlighted historical health outcomes.

Participants engaged in discussions aimed at outlining actionable initiatives and enhancing global coordination efforts.

H.E. Dr Filomena Gonçalves, Minister of Health of the Republic of Cabo Verde, called for climate justice and equity in health. Professor Celeste Saulo, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, emphasized the critical role of climate services in improving public health outcomes.

Looking ahead to COP 29 in Azerbaijan and COP 30 in Brazil, participants discussed strategies for advancing the global health agenda amid climate challenges. Representatives from various entities, including youth advocates, NGOs, and international organizations, highlighted the need for adequate funding and coordinated efforts to address the complex interplay of climate and health issues. This Roundtable aligned with WHO's strategic objectives, facilitating reflection on achievements and future challenges in global health.

Related links

Climate change and health Resolution

Consolidated report by the Director-General 

 

06/01/2024   WHO News

In an historic development, the World Health Assembly, the annual meeting of its 194 member countries, today agreed a package of critical amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005) (IHR), and made concrete commitments to completing negotiations on a global pandemic agreement within a year, at the latest, and possibly in 2024. These critical actions have been taken in order to ensure comprehensive, robust systems are in place in all countries to protect the health and safety of all people everywhere from the risk of future outbreaks and pandemics.

These decisions represent two important steps by countries, taken in tandem with one another on the final day of the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly, to build on lessons learned from several global health emergencies, including the COVID-19 pandemic. The package of amendments to the Regulations will strengthen global preparedness, surveillance and responses to public health emergencies, including pandemics.

The historic decisions taken today demonstrate a common desire by Member States to protect their own people, and the world’s, from the shared risk of public health emergencies and future pandemics,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “The amendments to the International Health Regulations will bolster countries' ability to detect and respond to future outbreaks and pandemics by strengthening their own national capacities, and coordination between fellow States, on disease surveillance, information sharing and response. This is built on commitment to equity, an understanding that health threats do not recognize national borders, and that preparedness is a collective endeavor."

Dr Tedros added: The decision to conclude the Pandemic Agreement within the next year demonstrates how strongly and urgently countries want it, because the next pandemic is a matter of when, not if. Today’s strengthening of the IHR provides powerful momentum to complete the Pandemic Agreement, which, once finalized, can help to prevent a repeat of the devastation to health, societies and economies caused by COVID-19.

The new amendments to the IHR include:

  • introducing a definition of a pandemic emergency to trigger more effective international collaboration in response to events that are at risk of becoming, or have become, a pandemic. The pandemic emergency definition represents a higher level of alarm that builds on the existing mechanisms of the IHR, including the determination of  public health emergency of international concern. According to the definition, a pandemic emergency is a communicable disease that has, or is at high risk of having, wide geographical spread to and within multiple States, exceeds or is at high risk of exceeding the capacity of health systems to respond in those States; causes, or is at high risk of causing, substantial social and/or economic disruption, including disruption to international traffic and trade; and requires rapid, equitable and enhanced coordinated international action, with whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches;

  • a commitment to solidarity and equity on strengthening access to medical products and financing. This includes establishing a Coordinating Financial Mechanism to support identification of, and access to, financing required to “equitably address the needs and priorities of developing countries, including for developing, strengthening and maintaining core capacities,” and other pandemic emergency prevention, preparedness and response-related capacities;

  • establishment of the States Parties Committee to facilitate the effective implementation of the amended Regulations. The Committee will promote and support cooperation among States Parties for the effective implementation of the IHR; and

  • creation of National IHR Authorities to improve coordination of implementation of the Regulations within and among countries.

“The experience of epidemics and pandemics, from Ebola and Zika to COVID-19 and mpox, showed us where we needed better public health surveillance, response and preparedness mechanisms around the world,” said Dr Ashley Bloomfield of New Zealand, Co-Chair of the Working Group on Amendments to the IHR (WGIHR), and of the Drafting Group that guided the negotiations of the package of amendments during the WHA. “Countries knew what had to be done and we did it. I am so proud to be a part of this.”

Fellow WGIHR Co-Chair Dr Abdullah Assiri, of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, added: “The amendments to the International Health Regulations strengthen mechanisms for our collective protections and preparedness against outbreak and pandemic emergency risks. Today’s powerful show of global support for stronger Regulations also provide a great boost for the process to negotiate a much-needed international Pandemic Agreement.”

Plan agreed for finalizing negotiations on a Pandemic Agreement

Countries agreed to continue negotiating the proposed Pandemic Agreement to improve international coordination, collaboration and equity to prevent, prepare for and respond to future pandemics.

WHO’s Member States decided to extend the mandate of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body, established in December 2021, to finish its work to negotiate a Pandemic Agreement within a year, by the World Health Assembly in 2025, or earlier if possible at a special session of the Health Assembly in 2024.

“There was a clear consensus amongst all Member States on the need for a further instrument to help the world better fight a full-blown pandemic,” said Ms Precious Matsoso of South Africa, Co-Chair of both the Pandemic Accord Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) and the Drafting Group on the INB and IHR agenda items at the WHA.

Fellow INB Co-Chair Roland Driece, from the Netherlands, said: “Today’s great result in approving amendments to the International Health Regulations will provide the momentum we need to finalize the Pandemic Agreement. We clearly have the will, the purpose and now the time needed to complete this generational agreement.”

Notes to editors:

The IHR (2005), the successors of the 1951 International Sanitary Regulations, were conceived to maximize collective efforts to manage public health events while at the same time minimizing their disruption to travel and trade. They have 196 States Parties, comprising all 194 WHO Member States plus Liechtenstein and the Holy See.

WHO Member States launched the process to develop the world’s first pandemic accord, to prevent a repeat of the global health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, at a Special Session of the World Health Assembly in December 2021.

05/31/2024   WHO News

Landmark resolution passed on health and climate change

In a resounding call to action, the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly has recognized climate change as an imminent threat to global health, passing a resolution which underscores the urgent need for decisive measures to confront the profound health risks posed by climate change.

The resolution, supported overwhelmingly by Member States, presents an overview of the existential threat that climate change poses to human health. The Health Assembly asserts that radical action is imperative to safeguard the health of the planet, underscoring the interdependence of environmental sustainability and public health.

Urging the global health community to mobilize on an unprecedented scale, the Health Assembly calls for the amplification and expansion of existing efforts to combat climate change within its core functions. This includes prioritizing health considerations in national and international climate policy frameworks, as well as supporting countries in building climate resilient and low carbon health systems.

By strengthening capacity building and providing technical support to national health ministries, the actions agreed at the Health Assembly will empower countries to implement robust climate-resilient health initiatives tailored to their unique circumstances, and to guide cross-sectoral actions that both promote health, and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

The resolution marks a key moment in the fight against climate change, emphasizing the urgent need for collective action to protect both human health and the planet. 

WHO is committed to continuing to lead the global health response to climate change. The Organization plans to scale up its efforts in supporting Member States through leadership, raising awareness, providing technical support and building capacity. Key initiatives include presenting health as a central concern in climate policies, advancing evidence-based strategies, and mobilizing support for health and climate action in countries.

Related links 

 

Countries call for economies centred on health and well-being for all

The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the interdependence between health and economies. It demonstrated that in order to promote, provide and protect health and well-being, we need multi-sectoral financing and collaboration of all agencies of government beyond the Ministries of Health. 

Addressing the challenge, the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly passed a new resolution supporting countries to restructure their economies to serve the health of people and the planet. 

The new resolution takes forward the recommendations of the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All. It highlights that healthy populations and a thriving planet are prerequisites for sustainable development. The state of health and well-being is a reflection of how people live, what they eat, how they learn and work, and whether all people, at all ages, are able to get the healthcare they need without becoming impoverished. 

The resolution sets out a way forward for Member States, international and regional financial institutions, and other stakeholders to better align actions across economic, social and environmental dimensions, with a clear focus on health for all. 

Through this resolution, the Health Assembly mandated WHO to develop a strategy on economics and financing for health by 2026, to guide countries in advancing this bold new vision of economies built around health and well-being. 

The strategy will define priority actions, from strengthening national capacities to providing technical support in areas such as improving fiscal policy and engagement with economic associations, international finance institutions, and development banks. 

Related documents 

 

Member States commit to leveraging sports events for health and well-being

On 30 May 2024, WHO Member States approved a new resolution (initiated by Qatar) on strengthening health and well-being through sporting events. Through the resolution, Member States champion a novel strategy to improve global well-being reflecting a growing recognition of the multifaceted nature of well-being, encompassing not just physical health, but also mental and social aspects. 

Moving beyond the thrill of competition, the strategy envisions sports events as platforms for addressing critical public health challenges, including health emergency preparedness and response, noncommunicable diseases, violence and injuries, mental health and social inclusion. 

The Health Assembly stressed the importance of encouraging healthy diets and regular physical activity for people of all ages and abilities, fostering a culture of lifelong movement. Additionally, ensuring accessibility for people with disabilities is paramount in promoting inclusivity. Furthermore, developing and testing new models for resource allocation will be key to sustaining these health promotion initiatives through sports events.

This decision by the Health Assembly marks a significant shift towards a holistic approach to public health. By harnessing the unifying power of sports, this strategy paves the way for promoting healthier behaviours, fostering stronger communities, and ultimately, achieving greater well-being for all on a national, regional and global scale.

Related links

 

Making 2024 a watershed year for worldwide equitable action on antimicrobial resistance

Today, Member States, Members of the Global Leaders Group on AMR (GLG), partners, youth leaders and survivor advocates came together at a Strategic Roundtable to chart a new path forward for global action against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). 

2024 is a crucial year for AMR, with the 2nd United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting (HLM) on AMR in New York, USA on 26 September 2024 and other major opportunities including the 4th Ministerial Meeting from 15–16 November 2024 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Today’s discussion brought leaders and partners championing a One Health approach to address the causes and consequences of AMR for the health of people, animals and the environment.  The discussion looked to capitalize on political momentum this year and beyond to build an effective and sustained response to AMR.  

The session also marked the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly adopting a resolution to accelerate national and global responses to AMR, which champions a people-centred approach and equitable access to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infections.

The discussion also considered establishing of an Independent Panel on Evidence for Action against AMR, as well as targets to reduce mortality from AMR and the inappropriate use of antimicrobials. 

Other key topics of discussion included: financing for multisectoral action against AMR, ensuring access to and appropriate use of antimicrobials, country experiences, advocacy and governance priorities, patient stories, and recommendations by WHO, the Quadripartite (WHO, FAO, UNEP and WOAH), and others.

 

Member States express strong support for the continuation of the phased increase of Assessed Contributions (AC) and the Investment Round (IR)

Delegates in Committee A reviewed and discussed reports on items 16 and 18 on the agenda. The Secretariat presented an April update on the Programme Budget (PB) of US$ 6.8 billion, as approved by a WHA76 resolution. WHO is on track with financing (87%) and utilization (20%), with current trends indicating 100% implementation of the approved PB.

As of the end of April 2024, the base segment is 79% funded, thanks to a 20% increase in AC and pipeline projections. However, reliance on earmarked voluntary contributions remains a challenge. Delegates appreciated WHO's financing progress but noted concerns about funding gaps and uneven funding across regions, offices, and strategic pillars, emphasizing the need for sustainable, flexible funding.

Member States also appreciated the Secretariat's improvements in operational efficiency and cost-saving initiatives. There were strong expressions of support for the AC increases and the IR. They noted the successful launch of the Investment Round and the Investment Case and welcomed the Secretariat's report. Delegates reaffirmed the joint objective for a successful IR, emphasizing the need for sustainable financing to enhance WHO's agility and efficiency. They urged partners to increase funding flexibility and broaden WHO’s donor base, including the private sector, in line with Framework of Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA). The revised definition of thematic funds and streamlined reporting were supported. Regular updates on IR modalities were requested, alongside efforts to ensure financing complements global health priorities.

Both reports were noted.

Related links

  • A77/14 Financing and implementation of the Programme budget 2024–2025
  • A77/15 Financing and implementation of the Programme budget 2024–2025

Reporting on operational efficiencies

  • A77/17 Sustainable financing: WHO investment round
    A77/35 Sustainable financing: WHO investment round

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

  • A77/37 Financing and implementation of the Programme budget 2024–2025

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

 

Health emergency in Ukraine and the refugee crisis 

The World Health Assembly approved a resolution entitled ‘Health emergency in Ukraine and refugee-receiving and -hosting countries, stemming from the Russian Federation`s aggression’. The resolution calls on relevant Member States to respect international law, protect medical personnel and civilians, and ensure unobstructed humanitarian access. It also requests WHO to keep supporting Ukraine and refugee-hosting countries.

Related documents  

  • A77/A/CONF./6 Health emergency in Ukraine and refugee-receiving and –hosting countries, stemming from the Russian Federation`s aggression (note the PDF link is for French version) 

Related links

 

Member States on road to lasting polio-free world

On polio eradication, Member States commended the efforts to interrupt wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) transmission in the last two remaining endemic countries, Afghanistan and Pakistan, noted the decrease in the number of cases, expressed concern about the recent increase in positive environmental detections outside of the traditional reservoirs, and welcomed cross border collaboration within this single epidemiological block with continued synchronized vaccinations to reach children. 

Member States also welcomed the continuing downward trend in variant poliovirus type 2 cases but expressed caution about the mixed progress in the most consequential geographies, which highlight continued gaps in population immunity. Member States underscored the importance of strengthening essential immunization, noting that whilst supplementary immunization activities have played a critical role in moving towards eradication, strengthening IPV1 coverage in general and in zero dose communities in particular should remain a top priority, encouraging stronger collaboration with immunization partners, including Gavi, and making use of opportunities such as the “Big Catch Up”.

Member States also welcomed the efforts for polio transition, including the new strategic framework that makes a series of changes to strengthen implementation, underscoring the collective duty to prepare for a polio-free world.

Rotary International, the civil society partner of the global polio eradication effort, thanked Member States for their commitments and reaffirmed the ongoing engagement of its own membership across the world.   

Related links

  • A77/4 Consolidated report by the Directory General; 14.4 – poliomyelitis eradication; and, polio transition planning and polio post-certification

 

Smallpox report: destruction of variola virus stocks 

The World Health Assembly noted the report on ‘Smallpox eradication: destruction of variola virus stocks.’ Although smallpox was eradicated in 1980, the virus is held in two locations under WHO supervision to enable research. Delegates called for maintaining the existing virus stocks and continuing their inspections. Smallpox countermeasures like vaccines and treatments have been used in the multi-country mpox outbreak, which continues to affect countries worldwide. Delegates called for increasing research and development on mpox and addressing the stark inequities in access to the countermeasures.

Related documents

  • EB154/20  Smallpox eradication: destruction of variola virus stocks

 

Items from Thursday, 30 May 2024

 

WHO’s work in health emergencies

On Thursday evening, 30 May, the Health Assembly considered several items related to WHO’s work in emergencies, including a report on the work done in the past year. WHO responded to 72 acute and protracted graded health emergencies in 2023, including complex crises, natural disasters, infectious disease outbreaks, and conflicts.  Thanks to over 900 partners, more than 107 million people across 29 countries and two regions were targeted for support by the health cluster in the reporting period. Operational impediments included restricted access for humanitarian workers and supplies, and poor funding of humanitarian response plans and for local partners. The report highlighted a critical funding gap for WHO's Health Emergencies Programme, hindering its ability to respond effectively. It called for increased and sustained funding, a more strategic approach to building long-term resilience, and stronger health systems to address future emergencies.  

Related documents

  • A77/11 Report on WHO’s work in health emergencies; Public health emergencies: preparedness and response
  • A77/4 Consolidated report by the Director-General

Related links

 

Independent report on WHO’s work in emergencies  

The Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme (IOAC) is mandated to oversee and guide WHO’s work in emergencies, to advise the Director-General on issues within its mandate and to report its findings to the Health Assembly. 

On Thursday, 30 May, delegates noted the report of the committee. It commended WHO’s work in emergencies over a very turbulent year and in increasingly insecure settings. It remained deeply concerned at the fragility of the situation in which WHO’s Emergencies Programme operates, including the lack of sustainable financing. The committee noted a steep increase in humanitarian health needs globally, and WHO’s increasing role in addressing these. The committee expressed serious concerns over the ongoing spread of dengue and cholera across different regions, recommending that WHO complete a risk mapping for dengue as a matter of urgency and step up its efforts to address the global shortage of oral cholera vaccines. It recommended better tracking of these diseases, more collaboration in crises, and easier reporting for countries. 

Related documents

  • A77/7 Report of the Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme

Related links

 

New focus on managing emergency preparedness for disasters resulting from natural hazards

Countries continue to face emergencies resulting from natural hazards, such as earthquakes, floods, landslides, tsunamis, storms, extreme temperatures, and forest fires. Health systems face additional pressures from the increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related extreme weather events, and require progress on adaptation, risk reduction and preparedness efforts to protect populations. In this context, on Thursday, 30 May, the World Health Assembly endorsed a resolution strengthening health emergency preparedness for these hazards. The resolution calls for Member States to do more -- and WHO to provide further support -- to prepare for and manage these hazards with risk assessments, investments in resilient health systems, and coordination across government departments, social and industrial sectors, and with communities. 

Related documents

  • EB154/CONF./2 Strengthening health emergency preparedness for disasters resulting from natural hazards  

Related links

 

Implementing the International Health Regulations

The Director-General reported on progress made by Member States in implementing the International Health Regulations 2005 (IHR). Almost all countries provided a self-assessment report in 2023.  Numerous joint external evaluations, after- and intra-action reviews, and training were conducted to strengthen preparedness for and response to health emergencies. However, there remain delays in reporting and verifying disease outbreaks.  

As COVID-19 and mpox no longer constitute public health emergencies of international concern, WHO issued standing recommendations for countries, which were welcomed by a number of Member States. 

Member States noted the report and spoke to the centrality of the IHR in promoting global health security, mentioning their own efforts towards the strengthening of IHR core capacities.

Related documents

  • A77/8 Implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005)

Related links  

 

Global Health and Peace Initiative 

The Global Health and Peace Initiative is a global effort led by WHO to enhance the existing links between health and peace. It aims to strengthen WHO's contributions to social cohesion, dialogue, and resilience to violence through health programs where appropriate, with partners and under national leadership.

On Thursday, 30 May 2024, Member States approved the resolution for the Secretariat to continue strengthening the roadmap towards the Global Health and Peace Initiative by gathering evidence, raising awareness about the initiative, capacity building, continuing to work with partners, and reporting back on the preceding. 

Related documents

Related links 

 

Strengthening laboratory biological risk management

Also on 31 May 2024, the World Health Assembly endorsed a resolution on strengthening laboratory biological risk management as a necessary health security capacity. It covers laboratory biosafety and biosecurity, referring to both unintentional and intentional exposure to or release of biological or other materials. The resolution calls on Member States to develop or update national plans to include biological risk mitigation and management, build capacity of human resources, and promote a risk-based approach and culture of biosafety and biosecurity. The resolution also calls on the Secretariat to provide technical assistance to Member States, monitor developments in this area, and convene discussions to develop standards.

Related documents

  • EB154(10) Strengthening laboratory biological risk management

Related links

 

05/31/2024   WHO News
During a special ceremony at the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly in Geneva on Friday, 31 May 2024, eight winners from four WHO Regions were awarded for their outstanding contributions to public health.
05/31/2024   WHO News
With the conflict now in its second year, 18 million people are acutely hungry, including 3.6 million children who are acutely malnourished, and famine is quickly closing in on millions of people in Darfur, Kordofan, Aj Jazirah and Khartoum.
05/30/2024   WHO News

Delegates approve groundbreaking new agreement on transplantation

On 29 May 2024, Member States (with the initiation of Spain) approved a new resolution on increasing availability, ethical access and oversight of transplantation of human cells, tissues and organs.

Transplantation is a life-saving treatment. The latest data of 2022 from the Global Observatory on Donation and Transplantation indicate that more than 150 000 solid organ transplants (≤ 10% of global needs) are performed worldwide annually, which is an increase of 52% compared with 2010.

However, there is still an apparent insufficient growth in and asymmetrical development of transplantation worldwide with many countries not having established the appropriate systems, including legislation, governance, specialized workforce, infrastructure and financing.

Lack of availability and equitable access to transplantation may lead to death or unethical or illegal practices such as transplant tourism and organ trafficking. The resolution aims to improve the availability of transplantation, especially in countries with limited resources.

The resolution aims to introduce measures to prevent and combat trafficking in people for the purpose of organ removal and trafficking in human organs, and to protect victims and survivors of these crimes by strengthening legislative frameworks.

Member States committed to take a set of actions including integrating donation and transplantation activities into health-care systems, so that deceased donation is routinely considered as an option at the end of life, and living donors are protected from exploitation and provided with proper follow-up care.

WHO is tasked to develop a global strategy on donation and transplantation, to be presented to the Assembly for adoption in 2026. WHO should also examine establishing a World Donor Day to raise public awareness and enhance understanding on the need for altruistic donation of human cells, tissues and organs. 

Related links 

New global action plan for infection prevention and control agreed

On 29 May 2024, delegates at the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly endorsed a new Global action plan and monitoring framework for infection prevention and control (IPC) for 20242030. The plan provides clear actions, indicators, and targets to support Member States in improving national- and facility-level IPC actions.

Recent history has demonstrated how outbreaks such as Ebola and COVID-19 spreading in communities can be dramatically amplified in health-care settings when there are gaps in IPC measures. Infections acquired in health-care settings, including those that exhibit antimicrobial resistance (AMR), cause avoidable suffering to patients, and increase the burden on health systems.

IPC interventions such as hand hygiene, and ensuring access to high-quality water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services can reduce the risk of health care-associated infections (HAIs) by up to 70% and have a high economic return on investment. 

Delegates reiterated their commitment to strengthen IPC programmes, noting that the action plan will require firm political commitment, dedicated financing and sustained implementation.

The plan will be supported by a detailed implementation guide and other resources, including costing tools. Full implementation of the global action plan can enable the attainment of the goal that everyone has access to health care that is safe from HAIs by 2030.

The WHO Secretariat is requested to report to the Assembly on implementation progress biennially from 2025.

Related links 

Countries commit to recover lost progress in maternal, newborn and child survival

Alarmed by the stagnation of progress in reducing maternal and child mortality, countries today passed a critical Resolution committing to specific actions to prevent deaths of women, babies and children.

Annually, 287 000 women die in pregnancy or childbirth, 4.9 million children die of largely preventable causes before their fifth birthday, and there are 1.9 million stillbirths. Progress in reducing maternal deaths has stalled since 2016, while survival gains for newborns and young children have lost pace.

This new resolution commits to tackling the leading causes of maternal and child deaths, especially in the worst affected countries, while improving access to maternal, sexual and reproductive and comprehensive child health services through stronger primary health care. It further highlights the need to expand access to emergency services including urgent obstetric care and small and sick newborn units, which are critical to manage complications associated with prematurity and other leading causes of newborn deaths.

The resolution emphasized that health systems must be enabled to deliver quality, safe and effective care, through well-stocked facilities, well-trained and motivated health workers, and safe water and sanitation. The resolution also stresses the need for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care services, including family planning, that underpin women’s health.

At current rates of progress, more than 4 out of 5 countries are likely to fall short on the Sustainable Development Goals’ maternal mortality targets; 64 countries for newborn mortality; and 59 countries for under-five child mortality. Current rates of decline in maternal mortality would need to be accelerated nine times, and newborn and under-five mortality four times to achieve these targets. Member States have committed to report back on this resolution every two years.  

Related links 

  • A77/A/CONF./5 Accelerate progress towards reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality in order to achieve Sustainable Development Goal targets 3.1 and 3.2
  • A77/A/CONF./5 Add.1 Financial and administrative implications for the Secretariat of resolutions proposed for adoption by the Health Assembly

New resolution on antimicrobial resistance to mobilize action  

Today, delegates approved a resolution to accelerate national and global responses on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), ahead of the second UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting (HLM) on AMR to take place in September 2024.  

AMR is an urgent global health and socioeconomic challenge. An estimated 1.3 million global deaths per year are attributable to drug-resistant bacterial infections. AMR threatens people of all ages, in all regions, with low- and middle-income countries most affected.  

Under the broad concept of a people-centred approach, the resolution welcomes the WHO strategic and operational priorities to address drug-resistant bacterial infections in the human health sector (2025–2035), with the four strategic priorities of: prevention of infections; universal access to affordable, quality diagnosis and appropriate treatment of infections; strategic information, science and innovation; and effective governance and financing of the human health sector response to AMR.   

The resolution urges Member States to apply these priorities and implement the core package of country-level interventions through their AMR national action plans. Areas of focus include the governance, funding, implementation and monitoring of national action plans, and the development of a concise and action-oriented, consensus-based political declaration for adoption at the HLM. 

The resolution also requests the Director-General to provide a status update and guidance to countries in preparation for the HLM on AMR. WHO is committed to provide technical support to expedite national responses to AMR and to develop progress reports on the resolution’s implementation.   

Related links 

Leaders discuss how artificial intelligence is transforming health 

Today’s Strategic Roundtable considered opportunities, risks, and governance in harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the quality of health care, while upholding principles of justice, equity, inclusion, safety, privacy, transparency and accountability. 

“Some say that AI will unlock a 4th industrial revolution”, outlined WHO Director-General Dr Tedros, with AI set to "change the way we live and work, with major consequences for health". 

Speakers drew from their experiences in health, academia, government, and the regulatory and private technology sectors to address issues, such as partnerships, to combine public health expertise with private innovation, and regulation, to boldly yet responsibly support the adoption and innovation of AI technologies. The role of WHO’s trusted leadership in shaping an equitable digital future and its guidance in informing the implementation of AI projects were also highlighted.

The discussion highlighted the importance of putting people and the public interest front and centre when using AI for health. Concerns about reinforcing existing inequities were raised but there was also hope that AI could help overcome current limitations, by helping to reach marginalized communities and people in remote areas and augment the capabilities of time-constrained health workers. 

Next steps will be taken in the areas of: a renewed Global Strategy on Digital Health and AI (2026-2030); operationalizing the Global Initiative on AI for Health (GI-AI4H); and the distribution of responsibilities across stakeholders, including: resource mobilization to support WHO and Member States in building consensus, developing guidance, and providing technical support on leveraging AI responsibly to strengthen health systems.

Related links  

Addressing sexual misconduct is a priority for WHO and its Member States

Member States today commended the Director-General and the WHO Secretariat for the progress made in addressing sexual misconduct and endorsed recommendations on the prevention and response to sexual misconduct in the Director-General’s Report A77/4 on two key issues to further improve this work.

They requested the Secretariat to submit proposals for mechanisms to ensure full and sustainable funding of activities to prevent sexual misconduct in emergencies, and for defining Member States’ accountability to ensure prevention of and response to sexual misconduct during joint operations between government entities and WHO.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, delivering a statement on behalf of 48 Member States, commended WHO’s work to strengthen systems, policies and culture to prevent sexual misconduct by the workforce, but cautioned that “whilst great progress has been made – we, the WHO community, cannot afford to take our foot off the gas now.” Member States added that “WHO has shown agility in its response, the ability to prioritize, the ability to self-reflect, and a commitment to Zero tolerance.”

Many Member States stressed the need to enact organization-wide culture change and undertake further strengthening victim- and survivor-centered approaches.

Dr Razia Pendse, WHO Chef de Cabinet, outlined the Organization’s plans for culture change. Dr Gaya Gamhewage, Director for the Prevention and Response to Sexual Misconduct, said more than 500 focal points and staff were now dedicated to this work across the Organization. She urged Member States to work with WHO and the rest of the UN system to improve services in countries for victims and survivors. 

Related links 

05/30/2024   WHO News
Three United Nations agencies today issued a stark warning that all indications point to a significant deterioration of the nutrition situation for children and mothers in war-torn Sudan. The lives of Sudan’s children are at stake and urgent action is needed to protect an entire generation from malnutrition, disease and death.
05/29/2024   WHO News

 

First-ever resolution on social participation for primary health care approved

Member States have agreed on a resolution on social participation in national health planning and implementation, which paves the way for people, communities, and civil society to have a stronger voice in influencing the decisions that affect their health and well-being.

The resolution aims to tackle health inequities and the erosion of trust in health systems, which is crucial in the face of the unprecedented challenges the world is facing such as climate change, conflicts, and pandemic threats. 

Growing evidence shows the transformative potential of social participation to foster trust in health systems, advance equity and align healthcare with people’s lived experiences. Two-way dialogues between government and the people they serve can lead to health policies, strategies and services that are more responsive to people’s needs, particularly those in vulnerable and marginalized situations.    

The new resolution recognizes this potential. Its implementation will involve regular and sustained national participatory mechanisms, such as dialogues or consultations and policies that reflect the recommendations generated from these participatory processes.  

WHO will continue to work with Member States in implementing this resolution by developing technical guidance and operational tools; offering capacity building support; and documenting and facilitating the sharing of country experiences. WHO is also tasked with reporting progress to the Health Assembly in 2026, 2028 and 2030. 

Related links 

  • A77/A/CONF./3 Social participation for universal health coverage, health and well-being
  • A77/A/CONF./3 Add.1 Financial and administrative implications for the Secretariat of resolutions proposed for adoption by the Health Assembly

 

New strategy to be developed on emergency, critical and operative care

Today, delegates requested the Director-General’s support to develop a global strategy and action plan for integrated emergency, critical and operative (ECO) care and services for the period of 2026--2035.

Amidst concurrent human and natural disasters, national health services are under increasing pressure to deliver effective ECO care. Such services address people’s health needs across the life course, including infections and injuries, complications during pregnancy and birth, and heart attacks and stroke.

ECO services are foundational to emergency preparedness and response. Delegates noted that COVID-19 had revealed significant gaps in the provision of ECO care globally. In 2023, WHO responded to 65 graded health emergencies worldwide, up from 40 in 2013.

This decision will provide a tangible map for Member States to review and develop policies to enable universal access to ECO care to all people in need by 2035. The strategy will facilitate the implementation of WHA Resolution 76.2 on Integrated emergency, critical and operative care for universal health coverage and protection from health emergencies, which was adopted in 2023.

The WHO secretariat will present a new draft strategy to the Health Assembly in 2026.

Related documents

  • A77/4 Consolidated Report by the Director-General
  • EB154(6) Universal Health Coverage, Report by Director-General

Related links

 

Countries agree to integrate mental health and psychosocial support in emergency response

The Health Assembly approved a resolution to strengthen mental health and psychosocial support across all stages of emergencies, including conflicts, natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Nearly all people affected by emergencies will experience psychological distress, with 1 in 5 likely to experience a mental health condition.

The new resolution calls for integrated, quality mental health services which are accessible to all, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected areas. It urges Member States to implement the WHO Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2030, incorporating mental health and psychosocial support into emergency preparedness, response and recovery efforts.

The resolution underscores the need for long-term investments in community-based services and cross-sectoral coordination to improve access to care. It also highlights the mental health needs of humanitarian workers, who are often exposed to severe stress.

WHO is tasked with providing technical support, facilitating inter-agency coordination, enhancing capacity building, and ensuring mental health and psychosocial support integration into emergency preparedness and response frameworks.

Progress will be tracked with annual reports to the Health Assembly from 2025 to 2031, ensuring accountability and sustained attention to issues relating to mental health in emergencies.

Related documents:

  • A77/A/CONF./11 Strengthening mental health and psychosocial support before, during and after armed conflicts, natural and human-caused disasters, and health and other emergencies
  • A77/A/CONF./11 Add.1 Financial and administrative implications for the Secretariat of resolutions proposed for adoption by the Health Assembly
  • Mental health in emergencies


Global partners celebrate 50 years of immunization progress

On 28 May, WHA 77 delegates and partners participated in a special high-level event commemorating  the 50th anniversary of the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI). Opening the event, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General said, “Thanks to immunization, children of today are 40% more likely to see their next birthday, than children 50 years ago. This progress results from partnerships, leaders, scientists, civil society, communities and families who have worked together to deliver on the dream of immunization for all.”

The event featured generations of immunization leaders: H.E. Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health, Indonesia; Dr Tore Godal, Former Advisor to the Prime Minister, Norway and founding CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Dr Umit Kartoglu, President & CEO, Extensio et Progressio; Dr Sania Nishtar, CEO, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance; and Ted Chaiban, Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, among many others.

H.E. Khumbize Chiponda, Minister of Health, Malawi, shared how vaccines made a life-changing difference for her family 5 decades ago, as three of her elder siblings did not survive due to childhood illnesses.

The commemoration celebrated the estimated minimum of 154 million lives saved through EPI over the last 50 years and called for renewed political and financial commitment to prioritize, invest in and strengthen essential immunization programmes worldwide, especially to reach ‘zero-dose’ children who missed vital vaccinations.

The event also looked forward, with speakers emphasizing their vision and ambition for the next 50 years of immunization and innovation. Speakers paid tribute to John Lloyd, who was the architect of the vaccine cold chain and an unsung hero in global health, and thanked community and front-line health workers for their dedication to immunization for all.

Related links:

 

Leaders highlight health as a vital investment in economies

At a strategic roundtable, delegates from Member States, partners and experts from health and financial sectors, put forth bold new ideas and initiatives, positioning health as a shared responsibility and investment of all sectors and the central goal of economies.

Progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) has been hampered by insufficient public financing to fund national health plans. Governments, investment banks and other actors are now initiating innovative solutions, not only to bridge short-term gaps, but also to ensure sustainability in health financing. 

Thomas Östros, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, said that a Health Impact Investment Platform has been established to enable multilateral development banks to coordinate an approach to catalytically invest in primary health care in low- and middle-income countries.

Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Chair of the WHO Council on the Economics of Health for All, reiterated that conditions impacting health and well-being are influenced by economic and social factors. Dr Akmaral Alnazarova, Minister of Healthcare, Kazakhstan, shared that an international coalition for UHC is planned, emphasizing the need for reorientation of health systems towards a fully financed primary health care approach to achieve UHC.  

Dr Githinji Gitahi, Group Chief Executive Officer of Amref Health Africa, highlighted that steps are being taken to better align health systems financing by global health initiatives, such as GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund, with national priorities, advancing the aims of the ‘Lusaka agenda’. 

Japan’s Vice Minister for Health and Chief Medical and Global Health Officer, Dr Masami Sakoi, announced that the Japanese Government will work with WHO and the World Bank to establish a new UHC Knowledge Hub in the Tokyo area in 2025 to help countries strengthen coordination between health and finance sectors.  

Related links

 

Note to editors:

On 30 May, two edits were made to the last paragraph of this note for the media:

  • The title of Dr Masami Sakoi was corrected.
  • The location of the planned new UHC Knowledge Hub was changed from “Tokyo” to “in the Tokyo area”.

 

 

05/28/2024   WHO News

The World Health Assembly (WHA) today recognized the progress made over the past two years by Member States to develop a pandemic agreement and strengthen the International Health Regulations (IHR, 2005). Governments meeting in Geneva for the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly are in talks to advance these two efforts, which aim to boost the world’s ability to better able to prevent and respond to the threat of future pandemics.

WHO Member States agreed to continue to work during the World Health Assembly, which ends on 1 June, with the aim to:

  • finalize the package of amendments to the IHR (2005)
  • agree the timing, format and process to conclude the pandemic agreement.

During today’s session, the WHA first considered agenda item 13.4 on the draft pandemic agreement. Delegates acknowledged the extensive work undertaken by the Member State-led Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB), and the Bureau steering the work, since governments launched the process in December 2021 to develop the world’s first pandemic accord to prevent a repeat of the global health, economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Member States reiterated that the world needs a pandemic agreement built on the principles of equity, sovereignty, and prevention, preparedness and response, and to ensure future generations are safeguarded from the threat of inevitable future pandemics.

WHA delegates also considered agenda item 13.3, which laid out the work undertaken to negotiate the amendments to the International Health Regulations(2005) to build on lessons learned from the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Member States stressed that agreement on updated and stronger International Health Regulations were essential for ensuring global health security.

05/28/2024   WHO News

World Health Assembly approves a global health strategy fit for a challenging future

Delegates at the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly (WHA 77) approved a four-year, US$ 11.1 billion strategy for global health to promote, provide, and protect health and well-being for all people, with an emphasis on climate change, aging, migration, pandemic threats, and equity, and adapted for a time of fast-moving geopolitics, science and technology.

The strategy, the Fourteenth General Programme of Work  (GPW 14), treats 2025–2028 as an exceptional window of opportunity to build resilient, fit-for-future health systems and, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, to get back on track to reach the health-related Sustainable Development Goals.

GPW 14 has six strategic objectives which reflect major areas of focus for this four-year period:

  • respond to the escalating threat to health posed by climate change
  • address health determinants and root causes of ill health in key policies across sectors
  • advance primary health care and essential health system capacities for universal health coverage
  • improve health service coverage and financial protection to address inequity and gender inequalities
  • prevent, mitigate, and prepare for health risks from all hazards
  • rapidly detect and sustain the response to health emergencies.

Doc A77/16  Draft fourteenth general programme of work, 2025–2028

WHO’s investment case launch draws expressions of support, pledges to sustainably finance four-year strategy

WHO on Tuesday launched an investment case that lays out the Organization’s essential contribution to global health and seeks investment in its 2025–2028 strategy to save 40 million lives and improve the health of 6 billion people. 

The investment case underpins WHO’s Investment Round, which kicked off on Sunday and has gained many robust expressions of support, commitments from countries to co-host, and a number of initial pledges that build momentum toward the Investment Round’s culmination later this year. 

Statements of support and funding commitments came from Member States, and the European Union during Tuesday’s launch event at a strategic roundtable of the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly. 

Watch the roundtable.

Opening of the Health Assembly

On 27 May the Health Assembly opened with the election of Dr Edwin Dikoloti of Botswana as the President of the Health Assembly. The elected Vice-Presidents are Dr Frank C.S. Anthony of Guyana, Dr Youngmee Jee of the Republic of Korea, Dr Ala Nemerenco of the Republic of Moldova, Dr Ali Haji Adam Abubakar of Somalia and Dr P.G. Maheepala of Sri Lanka.

During the high-level session, H.E. Elisabeth Baume-Schneider, Federal Councilor of the Swiss Confederation addressed the Health Assembly on behalf of the host country. 

The delegates also heard from the Special Guest of Honour H.E. Mohamed El Ghazouani, President of Mauritania and Chairperson of the African Union and Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee. H.E. António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, H.E. Anwar bin Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia, H.E. Srettha Thavisin, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand and H.E. Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission delivered video statements. 

Internationally acclaimed Egyptian opera singer Farrah El-Dibany performed at the Health Assembly. She shared her personal story to advocate strongly for the healing impact of music and the arts on health. 

Director-General’s Award for Global Health

Dr Tedros presented the Director-General’s Award for Global Health to:

Professor Katalin Karikó and Professor Drew Weissman of the University of Pennsylvania for their outstanding contributions to the development of mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 at the opening of the Health Assembly.

H.E. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, received her award at the Launch of WHO Investment Round event on Sunday, 26 May. 

On the sidelines of WHA77

TB Vaccine Accelerator Council holds its second high-level meeting

WHO convened its Second High-Level Meeting of the TB Vaccine Accelerator Council. The event was attended by ministers and representatives of Indonesia, Brazil, France, Kenya, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Viet Nam and United States of America, as well as participants from civil society and partner organizations such as the European Investment Bank, the Gates Foundation, GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, the Global Fund, Stop TB Partnership, Unitaid, Wellcome Trust and the World Bank.

The event concluded with agreement on 3 key acceleration tracks to drive work over the next two years, with the aim to expedite the development, approval, access, and deployment of new TB vaccines. These include:

  1. Accelerate diversification of the TB vaccine portfolio by fast-tracking the translation of promising discoveries into vaccines that can be deployed worldwide, through effective funding strategies and enhanced collaboration;
  2. Accelerate identification of market solutions by incentivizing late-stage development of new TB vaccines by launching a pull incentive mechanism, taking into consideration relevant issues such as national commitments, technology transfer, trade, and intellectual property; and
  3. Accelerate rapid implementation and uptake of new TB vaccines by promoting and funding a comprehensive learning agenda to support preparedness, streamline regulatory processes, and facilitate global access.

The Council also agreed to convene a TB vaccine financing conference in 2025 to launch options for procurement and financing of late-stage products towards timely and equitable access. Council members agreed to leverage political and technical dialogues through existing and new collaborations, such as working groups, country workshops, and scheduled TB events to pave the way to the conference.

For more information on the TB Vaccine Accelerator Council, see https://www.who.int/initiatives/tuberculosis-vaccine-accelerator-council or contact: TBvaccines@who.int

 

05/28/2024   WHO News

WHO on Tuesday launched an investment case that lays out the Organization’s essential contribution to global health and seeks investment in its 2025–2028 strategy to save 40 million lives and improve the health of 6 billion people. 

The investment case underpins WHO’s Investment Round, which kicked off on Sunday and has gained many robust expressions of support, commitments from countries to co-host, and a number of initial pledges that build momentum toward the Investment Round’s culmination later this year. 

Statements of support and funding commitments came from Member States, and the European Union during Tuesday’s launch event at a strategic roundtable of the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly. 

“I thank Brazil, which will host the Investment Round as President of the G20, alongside co-hosts France, Germany and Norway, and Mauritania in its capacity as Chair of the African Union,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, speaking at Tuesday’s event. “I also thank the G7 finance ministers, who recently called for increased funding for WHO through the Investment Round. And I thank all Member States and other donors for their voluntary contributions, especially those who already provide predictable and flexible funding.” 

The 40-page investment case is rich in data and examples of WHO’s achievements – from women’s health to antimicrobial resistance (AMR) to the elimination infectious diseases – showcases how the Organization amplifies the impact of its work to generate a return of US$ 35 for every US$ 1 of investment and sets out what can be achieved if WHO is sustainably financed. 

WHO’s strategy for global health, the General Programme of Work (GPW 14), approved on Tuesday, calls for deep collaboration with Member States and partners across a wide domain of health needs in a time of climate change, geopolitical turbulence, mass migration and other complex challenges. 

Expressions of support, funding pledges 

With the Investment Round, WHO is not asking for more funds, but rather voluntary contributions in advance of the four-year strategy to ensure that it can be fully implemented. Member States’ membership dues cover only a portion of the costs of WHO’s approved activities; the Investment Round is fundraising toward a gap of US$ 7.1 billion. 

During the event, Singapore’s Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung announced the country’s contribution of SGD 24 million (US$ 18 million) to the Investment Round. Ireland’s Minister of Health Stephen Donnelly announced that the country would immediately bring forward its assessed contribution to 2028–2029 levels by committing additional flexible funds. 

The European Union also reaffirmed its commitment to WHO. 

We want to see a WHO which is sustainably financed, accountable and effective. I am proud today to announce, as part of the WHO Investment Round, a contribution by the European Commission of more than €250 million,” said Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen in a video address. 

On Sunday, at the launch of the Investment Round, the Institute of Philanthropy pledged US$ 1.2 million for the health of migrants and displaced populations affected by climate change. 

What WHO will deliver over 2025–2028 

The investment case breaks down how the activities outlined in GPW 14 will save 40 million lives by focusing on health emergencies, AMR, maternal and child health, infectious diseases, noncommunicable diseases, vaccination, the effects of climate change, and risk factors including tobacco, alcohol, physical activity and diet. 

WHO’s strategy for 2025–2028 is built around the Organization’s continuing pledge to promote, provide and protect health; in text, data and graphics, the investment case provides examples of the activities that will support that pledge over the next four years. 

These include bringing solar electrification to 10 000 health facilities to make them fully functional; supporting 55 countries in educating and employing 3.2 million health workers; increasing the number of vaccines delivered to priority countries; providing access to health services to more than 150 million people in humanitarian settings in 30 countries; helping 84 countries reach targets for eliminating malaria, mother-to-child HIV transmission and other diseases; detecting and taking action against 30 health threats per month; strengthening access to timely and reliable health data; and prequalifying 400 health products per year.

Over the past five years, WHO has helped countries apply the latest science and health practice with measurable results: 1.2 billion people are living healthier lives through reduced risks and healthier environments; nearly 430 million more people are covered by essential health services without financial hardship; and 600 million people are better protected from health emergencies. These results were achieved with an annual budget of US$ 2.75 billion – or less than US$ 0.35 per person. 

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WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus presented his Award for Global Health to the Prime Minister of Barbados and two scientists for their contributions to advancing global health at the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly.
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