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Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly: daily notes on proceedings

Notes: Monday, 27 May 2013

Draft comprehensive global monitoring framework and targets for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases (13.1)

Draft action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013-2020 (13.2.)

Items 13.1 and 13.2 - documents A66/8, A66/8 Add.1, A66/9, A66/9 Corr.1, A66/A/Conf./1 Rev.1 Corr.1 and A66/A/Conf./1 Add.1

Delegates approved draft resolution A66/A/CONF./1Rev.1 endorsing the WHO global action plan for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013-2010 (A66/9). The action plan comprises a set of actions which, when performed collectively by Member States, UN organizations and other international partners, and WHO, will set the world on a new course to achieve 9 globally agreed targets for NCDs (A66/8), including a reduction in premature mortality from NCDs by 25% in 2025.

The action plan also contains a monitoring framework, including 25 indicators to track mortality and morbidity; assess progress in addressing risk factors, and evaluate the implementation of national strategies and plans.

WHO is requested to develop draft terms of reference for a global coordination mechanism through a consultative process culminating in a formal meeting of Member States in November 2013. WHO was also tasked to provide technical support to Member States and to develop a limited set of action plan indicators to inform on progress made with the implementation of the action plan in 2016, 2018 and 2021.

Monitoring the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals - Health in the post-2015 development agenda

Item 14.1 - documents A66/13, A66/47 and A66/A/Conf./6

The Secretariat reported substantial progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their targets - notably in reducing child and maternal mortality, improving nutrition, and reducing morbidity and mortality due to HIV infection, tuberculosis and malaria. Progress in many countries that have the highest rates of mortality has accelerated in recent years, although large gaps persist among and within countries.

The Health Assembly approved draft resolution (A66/A/CONF./6), urging Member States to sustain and accelerate efforts towards the achievement of the health-related MDGs and to ensure that health is central to the post-2015 UN development agenda. The resolution calls on the Director-General to ensure that WHO consultations on the issue are inclusive and open to all regions and to advocate for resources to support acceleration of the health-related MDG targets by 2015.

The Secretariat is requested to include discussion of health in the post-2015 UN development agenda in the 2013 meetings of the WHO Regional Committees and to present a report to the Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly.

Neglected tropical diseases

Item 16.2 - documents EB132/2013/REC/1, resolution EB132.R7, A66/20 and A66/A/Conf./7

Delegates approved Resolution EB132.R7 on the prevention, control, elimination and eradication of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). The resolution urges Member States to ensure country ownership of neglected tropical disease prevention, control, elimination and eradication programmes and calls on international partners to provide sufficient and predictable funding. It encourages greater harmonization of support to countries and the development of new technologies to support vector control and infection prevention.

The resolution calls on WHO to sustain its leadership in the fight against NTDs; to develop and update evidence-based norms, standards, policies, guidelines and strategies; monitor progress, and support Member States in strengthening human resource capacity for the prevention, diagnosis, including vector control and veterinary public health. Many Member States highlighted the particular importance of intensifying efforts to tackle dengue and stressed the need to better integrate programmes to address different diseases and line more closely with wider efforts to strengthen health systems.


Item 16.3 - document A66/21

Delegates noted the Secretariat’s report on progress in implementation of resolution WHA64.17, and on global efforts to prevent, control and eliminate malaria. Mortality rates decreased by more than 25% worldwide between 2000 and 2010, but a global funding shortfall threatens to jeopardize further progress. The report highlights surveillance challenges in many endemic countries and notes new WHO-led initiatives to address emerging drug and insecticide resistance. It also underlines that further progress can only be made if malaria interventions are substantially expanded in the 17 most affected countries, which account for an estimated 80% of malaria cases.

Member States stressed the importance of maintaining malaria as a priority in the post-2015 development agenda, and expressed support for the development of a global technical strategy on malaria control and elimination for 2016-2025. The Secretariat will develop a strategy under the guidance of the Malaria Policy Advisory Committee. It will go forward for consideration by the Executive Board and then the World Health Assembly in 2015.

Follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination

Item 17.2 - documents A66/23 and A66/B/Conf./2

Delegates approved the report of the open-ended meeting of Member States on the follow-up of the report of the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research and Development: Financing and Coordination (CEWG) that met last November in Geneva, as well as the draft resolution. The resolution recognizes the urgency of addressing the health requirements of developing countries, the related inequities in the current research landscape, and the need to enhance investments in health research and development (R&D). It urges WHO Member States to strengthen health R&D capacities and investments for diseases that affect disproportionally developing countries.

The resolution also requests WHO to establish a global health R&D observatory within WHO to monitor and analyze relevant information on health R&D, as well as facilitation, through regional consultations and broad engagement of relevant stakeholders, and the implementation of a few health R&D demonstration projects to address research gaps that affect in a disproportionate manner developing countries. The Health Assembly also decided to convene a technical consultative meeting in 2013 to assist in the identification of demonstration projects.

Universal health coverage

Item 17.3 - documents A66/24, A66/A/Conf./2 Rev.1 and A66/A/Conf./2 Rev. 1 Add .1

A draft resolution was presented on the importance of educating health workers for universal coverage. Delegates approved the resolution, drafted by an informal group during this year’s Assembly, without further discussion.

eHealth and health Internet domain names

Item 17.5 - documents EB132/2013/REC/1, resolution EB132.R8 and A66/26

Delegates approved a resolution (A66/B/CONF./3) on eHealth standardization and interoperability. Member States noted the importance of standardized, accurate, timely data and health information to the functioning of health systems and services, while also highlighting that the security of this information, and privacy of personal clinical data, must be protected.

Evaluation of information and communications technologies in health interventions was also noted. The resolution further emphasizes that health-related global top-level domain names, including “.health”, should be operated in a way that protects public health and is consistent with global public health objectives, and that names and acronyms of intergovernmental organizations, including WHO, be protected in the Internet Domain Name System.