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Sixty-fifth World Health Assembly: daily notes on proceedings


Notes: Saturday, 26 May 2012

Financing research and development

The Health Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution on the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination in the form presented as draft by the drafting group and circulated yesterday.

Implementation of International Health Regulations (2005)

The annual report on the implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005) was presented in Committee A. Tools are available for State Parties to monitor their national core capacities and to identify areas that require further action. Information collected for 2011 shows State Parties are making fair progress for a number of core capacities, notably surveillance, response, laboratory and zoonotic events. Most regions reported relatively low capacities in human resources and for preparedness to chemical and radiological events.

Many State Parties have requested or will request a two-year extension to the mid-2012 deadline for establishing core capacities under IHR. Delegates made references to the difficulties in implementing measures related to points of entry as well as the need for engaging stakeholders outside the health sector and enhancing regional and trans-regional networks. The draft resolution was approved with a recommendation for developing further progress reports.

Pandemic influenza preparedness

Member States acknowledged that the pandemic influenza preparedness (PIP) framework is a crucial development for global health security, based on the lessons from the 2009 influenza pandemic. Committee A reviewed some of the procedures and processes behind that framework and its future direction. Many delegates highlighted the need for WHO to be flexible. Delegates recognized that industry and other partners play important roles in the development of mass vaccines to counter outbreaks.

Delegates proposed a 70% and 30% distribution of Partnership Contribution resources, between preparedness and response respectively, which will be submitted to the Executive Board. This distribution will be regularly reviewed. Delegates welcomed the role of the advisory group which was described as strong and robust, but stressed the need for extra resources – both human and financial – to support WHO capacity and leadership so that the PIP framework can be fully implemented.

Global mass gatherings

Committee A considered and approved the report by the Secretariat on “Global mass gatherings: implications and opportunities for global health security”. The discussions were spearheaded by delegates from countries which hosted mass gatherings in the recent past or host such events on a regular basis. Delegates expressed the need to exchange experiences to ensure lessons learned on adequate preparedness and management. Member States representatives also stressed the need for efficient preventive measures and interventions such as surveillance through mobile teams and laboratories to identify and respond rapidly to outbreaks. They identified mass gatherings as opportunities to reinforce multi-sectoral collaboration and strengthen their health systems.

Social determinants of health

The Health Assembly endorsed the Rio Political Declaration and its recommendations. It approved measures to support the five priority actions recommended in the declaration to address social determinants of health. The measures will lead to, among other things, greater collaboration between UN and partner agencies and more support for Member States to adopt an inclusive ‘health-for-all’ approach.

Health-related Millennium Development Goals.

Member States endorsed the report on the progress and achievements of the health-related Millennium Development Goals and health goals after 2015. While the pace of progress has accelerated in many Member States, it was also acknowledged that more still needs to be done in the remaining three years to achieve the goals.

A second report on The Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, established at the request of the United Nations Secretary-General’s in the context of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, presented 10 recommendations to improve accountability, defined as monitoring, review and action, in countries and globally. The focus is on the 75 countries which together account for more than 95% of all maternal and child deaths in the world. Many countries and global partners have made specific commitments to accelerate action towards the achievement of MDG 4 (reduce child mortality) and 5 (improve maternal health).

Progress reports

Committee A welcomed and approved the following progress reports:

  • Health system strengthening;
  • WHO’s role and responsibilities in health research;
  • Global strategy and plan of action on public health, innovation and intellectual property;
  • Smallpox eradication: destruction of variola virus stocks;
  • Eradication of dracunculiasis;
  • Chagas disease: control and elimination;
  • Viral hepatitis;
  • Prevention and control of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis;
  • Cholera: mechanisms for control and prevention;
  • Control of human African trypanosomiasis;
  • Global health sector strategy on HIV/AIDS, 2011–2015;
  • Prevention and control of sexually transmitted infections: global strategy;
  • Reproductive health: strategy to accelerate progress towards the attainment of international development goals and targets;
  • Advancing food safety initiatives;
  • Climate change and health;
  • Partnerships; and
  • Multilingualism: implementation of action plan.
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