Saturday, October 1, 2022

WHO/Europe showcases work from across the region at the 75th World Health Assembly

A landmark agreement on a new, sustainable financing model, as well as the re-election of Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as WHO Director-General, were just 2 of the highlights at this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA).

Bringing together delegates in a hybrid format, the annual meeting provided an opportunity to learn more about the work of the WHO in countries and areas of WHO working to strengthen health for all.

sustainable financing

This year’s WHA reached a landmark decision on sustainable funding, which seeks to increase assessed contributions to 50% of the WHO’s main budget by 2030. Currently, assessed contributions make up only 16% of the WHO’s approved program budget.

Assessed contributions are raised from WHO member states and allow for more predictable and flexible funding, not necessarily earmarked by donors for specific areas of health. This change will go hand in hand with further strengthening of the WHO’s financial governance and transparency with member states.

re-election of director general

On 24 May, Dr Tedros was re-elected as the Director General of WHO. First elected in 2017, he ran for the post of Director General unopposed as the sole nominee and will assume his new mandate on 16 August 2022.

Dr. Tedros received widespread support for his 5 priorities for the next 5 years: addressing the root causes of poor health; redirecting health services to primary care; Strengthening the global architecture for preparedness, response and resilience; Using science, research, innovation, data and digital technologies; And to build a strong, strong and sustainable WHO.

Speaking to the WHA, Dr. Tedros said: “I am humbled by the opportunity provided by Member States for a second term as Director-General of WHO. This honour, however, comes with great responsibility and I wish all countries, Committed to working with our partners around the world and our valued partners to ensure that WHO fulfills its mission of promoting health, keeping the world safe and serving vulnerable people.

Well Resourced Health Systems

Health financing was also on the agenda during this year’s WHA – highlighting health as a core development objective, speaking at a strategic roundtable with Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO’s regional director for Europe. This was one of the key points in the final report of the Pan-European Commission on Health and Sustainable Development – convened by Dr Kluge led by Professor Mario Monti to learn lessons from the COVID-19 outbreak and help build more resilient health . system

non-communicable diseases and obesity

Dr Kluj participated in a WHA side-event titled “Tipping the Scales: Global Action to Address Obesity”, which was hosted by the First Lady of Croatia, HE Professor Dr Sanja Musik Milanovic. The purpose of the meeting was to highlight that no country in the WHO European region is on track to halt the rise in obesity and present a global acceleration plan. The plan identifies priority actions that countries and WHO can take to tackle the rise in obesity – including engaging partners, encouraging global mobility and monitoring progress. The incident follows the launch of a report earlier this year that highlighted that obesity could become the leading cause of cancer by 2030.

During the side-event, a new WHO/Europe policy brief titled “Obesity in the WHO European Region” was launched. This policy brief summarizes the WHO European Regional Obesity Report 2022. It presents the latest data on lifetime obesity in the European region and a suite of policies and population-level approaches that Member States may consider for implementation to prevent and manage them. obesity.

Refugee and migrant health in action

In recent years the health of refugees and migrants has been a major focus for WHO/Europe as well as other WHO regions. Following a high-level meeting in March, 5 primary actions were identified to improve the health of refugees and migrants:

  • Make sure migrants and refugees have universal health coverage
  • Implement inclusive health emergency policies
  • Promote social inclusion and reduce inequalities between people
  • Strengthening migration health governance and data gathering
  • Support new partnerships and new ways of working.

Speaking with fellow regional directors from the WHO African and WHO Eastern Mediterranean regions during a side-event at the WHA, Dr Kluge said: “Good health and well-being should be a reality for all of us, no matter where you come from . And what is your status? To do this, it is important to work across all sectors and incorporate refugee and migrant perspectives.

behavioral and cultural insights

Behavioral and cultural insights are central to the European Action Programme, 2020–2025 “Joint Action for Better Health”. By better understanding the barriers and drivers to good health, health officials can ensure that as many people as possible benefit from improved health and well-being.

Overcoming barriers to health involves addressing concerns that populations may have specific health interventions or understanding the reality of people’s lives – such as bureaucracy or limited public services – that make access to health care difficult. .

During a side-event at the WHA on Releasing the Potential of Behavioral Insights in Health, WHO/Europe Executive Director Rob Butler spoke about the need to invest in this area of ​​expertise to benefit people’s health and well-being. Spoke: “By integrating behavioral insights into health policy and service planning, we can explore the barriers and drivers that people experience and use this insight to make services more accessible, convenient, acceptable and equitable.” We can use it to help healthcare workers do their jobs better. We can also support people to adopt healthier lifestyles.”

Bilateral meetings with member countries and partners

As in previous years, the WHA provided opportunities to meet bilaterally with health representatives across the region. Dr. Kluge spoke with representatives from several different countries, covering a range of health sectors, including mental health, primary health care, routine immunization and working together to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

One such meeting focused on WHO/Europe’s work with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, marking 30 years of cooperation with countries in Central Asia in 2022 on a roadmap to health and wellness .

During another bilateral meeting, the Oslo Medicine Initiative was on the agenda – bringing together ministers, patients, physicians and nursing associations to create novel, innovative medicines that can cost more.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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