Geneva, 17 May 2019 (PAHO/WHO) – On 20-28 May, Health Authorities from the Americas will participate in the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland. The Assembly will bring together more than 4000 delegates from the 194 countries that make up the World Health Organization (WHO) to address the main health issues in the world.
During the Assembly, countries will seek agreements on how to achieve universal health coverage through primary health care, human resources for health, as well as on a global action plan on patient safety.
The World Health Assembly will also discuss health, climate change and the environment, access to medicines and vaccines, health promotion for refugees and migrants, as well as emergency preparedness and response, among other relevant issues.
The Region of the Americas will participate in the Assembly with its representatives from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), regional office for the Americas of WHO, headed by its Director, Carissa F. Etienne, as well as through their country delegations led by the respective national health authorities.
The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of WHO. Its main functions are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint a Director General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed program budget.
This year, the world’s ministers and health authorities were invited to speak in the plenary, “Health for all: leaving no one behind.”
Delegations will receive technical briefings on a global action plan for healthy lives and well-being for all; the emergence of new technologies; universal health coverage; the need to strengthen efforts in the area of mental health; investment in health jobs; the local promotion of medicines and health technologies; sustainable health facilities, the green economy and climate change resilience; and a new vision towards a healthier population.
In parallel to the Assembly, delegations from the Americas will also be promoting a variety of events relating to universal health; noncommunicable diseases; access to affordable medicines and health products; healthy aging; migration and universal health; efforts to eliminate malaria; and air pollution, among other issues.
Walk event and the PAHO stand
On 19 May, prior to the start of the World Health Assembly, WHO is staging a walk in Geneva, as well as several other events to promote physical activity. Ministers and delegations from the Americas plan to participate in this activity, which is called “Walk the Talk: The Health for All Challenge”.
PAHO will host a stand at the walk, which will be set up in front of the Palace of Nations. Information about the Organization’s work in the Region, particularly relating to universal health coverage, will be available at this stand.
During the Assembly, PAHO will also have a fixed stand at the Palace of Nations, as well as several pop-up exhibitions.