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72nd World Health Assembly 2019

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The 72nd session of the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland from May 20 to 28, 2019. The theme of this year is “Universal Health Coverage: Leaving no one behind”. The World Health Assembly was attended by delegations from all 194 World Health Organisation (WHO) Member states. The main focus of the session is on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.

72nd World Health Assembly 2019Key Highlights
i. WHO appointed four new goodwill ambassadors for promoting global health.

  • Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – He was former President of Liberia.
  • Cynthia Germanotaa – She is President of “Born This Way Foundation”
  • Alisson Becker – He is the goalkeeper of the Brazilian and Liverpool football team
  • Natalia Loewe Becker – She is a medical doctor and health advocate from Brazil.

ii. In the meeting, the first resolution was adopted by member countries, the focus is for countries to take measures to implement the Declaration of Astana, adopted at the 2018 Global Conference on Primary Health Care. This resolution also calls on the WHO Secretariat for increasing its support to member states towards universal health coverage.
iii. The second resolution was passed which recognizes the contribution made by community health workers for achieving universal health coverage, responding to health emergencies, and promoting healthier populations.
iv. The member states of WHO agreed on a new global strategy on problems related to health, environment and climate change.
v. The World Health Assembly first time recognized ‘burn out’ as a medical condition in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which was extensively used as a benchmark for diagnosis and health insurers.
vi. In the World Health Assembly, the member states seek to cut snakebite deaths and disability by 50% by 2030. Also, the strategy has been made for a kissing-bug-transmitted disease known as Chagas caused by Trypanosoma cruzi parasites, that kills up to 10,000 people annually. WHA (World Health Assembly) member states voted to officially establish April 14 as World Chagas Day.
vii. WHO had also for the first time recognized video gaming as an addiction, listing it alongside gambling and drugs like cocaine.
About World Health Assembly (WHA)
The World Health Assembly is the highest decision-making body of World Health Organisation (WHO).
The functions of the World health Assembly are:

  • Determining the policies of the WHO
  • To appoint the Director-General of WHO
  • To supervise financial policies of WHO
  • To review and approve the proposed programme budget of WHO

About World Health Organisation (WHO)
♦ Headquarter: Geneva, Switzerland
♦ Director General: Tedros Adhanom