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Key Highlights of 77th World Health Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland

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The 77th World Health Assembly was held in Geneva, Switzerland from 27 May – 1 June 2024The 77th World Health Assembly(WHA 77) was held in Geneva, Switzerland from 27th May to 1st June, 2024.

  • Theme of  2024 WHA is “All for Health, Health for All”.
  • Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) represented India at the WHA 77

Note: World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of World Health Organization (WHO). It is attended by delegations from all 194 Member States of WHO.

Points to note:

i.On 27th May 2024, WHA 77 opened with the election of Dr Edwin Dikoloti of Botswana as the President of the WHA.

ii.Dr Frank C.S. Anthony of Guyana, Dr Youngmee Jee of the Republic of Korea, Dr Ala Nemerenco of the Republic of Moldova, Dr Ali Haji Adam Abubakar of Somalia and Dr P.G. Maheepala of Sri Lanka were elected as Vice Presidents.

India hosted side event on Women, Children and Adolescent Health

On the sidelines of WHA 77, India hosted a side event on Women, Children and Adolescent Health in partnership with Norway, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMCH) in Geneva, Switzerland.


i.To share emerging evidence and discoveries, to foster dialogue on important opportunities for investment in maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health and well being.

ii.To promote increased investments, initiating policy adjustments and their ramifications across different stakeholders and sectors, while simultaneously prioritizing the needs of different population groups.

Key Points:

i.India is committed towards implementing proactive actions for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ health and wellbeing.

ii.India’s initiatives like Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) – I, RCH – II and the Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram focus on stressed on adolescent health..

iii.Tele Mental Health Assistance and Networking Across States (Tele-MANAS), is one of the key initiative of India which aims to provide free 24×7 tele-mental health services across India.

  • The Union Government aims to open at least one Tele-MANAS Cell in each State/UT.

iv.Co-WIN is being transformed into UWIN for the National Immunization Programme. It will aid in linking and providing immunization record of 30 million new born and mothers every year followed by Anganwadi and school health record.

NIMHANS Bagged the Nelson Mandela Award for Health Promotion for 2024

Bengaluru(Karnataka)-based National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro  Sciences (NIMHANS), India’s premier Mental Health Institute under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, (MoHFW), bagged the Nelson Mandela Award for Health Promotion for 2024 by WHO.

  • The award recognised the exception contributions of NIMHANS in promoting mental health and well-being.
  • Eminent Public Health Advocate and Tobacco Activist, Professor Bontle Mbongwe (Botswana) received the Nelson Mandela Award for Health Promotion for 2024.

Key Points:

i.Pratima Murthy, Director of NIMHANS received the award at special ceremony held at 77th World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

ii.The award was presented by Dr. Edwin Dikoloti, President, World Health Assembly along with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General (DG), WHO.

About Nelson Mandela Award for Health Promotion:

i.The award was established in 2019 by World Health Organisation (WHO) initiative of the Ministers of Health of Member States of the African Region.

ii.The award recognizes individuals, institutions and governmental or nongovernmental organisations that have made a significant contribution to health promotion.

Other awards:

i.A total of eight 2024 laureates were honoured with the Public health prizes and awards during a Plenary of the WHA 77.

ii.WHA President, Dr Edwin Dikoloti of Botswana honoured the winners of

  • Nelson Mandela Award for Health Promotion;
  • Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health;
  • Sasakawa Health Prize;
  • United Arab Emirates Health Foundation Prize;
  • Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah Prize for Research in Health Care for the Elderly and in Health Promotion
  • Ihsan Doğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize.

Click here for the complete list of winners

WHO Launched New Investment Round to Tackle Global Challenges

On 26th May 2024, during the WHA 77, WHO launched a new Investment Round aiming to raise USD 7 billion of funds to support countries to tackle global challenges such as: climate change, displacement, poverty and inequality.

  • It is formed on the recommendations of the WHO Group on sustainable financing.
  • It was officially approved at the 154th meeting of WHO Executive Board in January 2024.

About Investment Round:

i.It is a wider plan to transform the WHO’s funding system into an era of climate change, mass migration, pandemic threats, an ageing world population, among others by 2028.

ii.Government of Brazil , which holds G20 presidency for 2024, will host high-level events at the Leaders’ Summit in November, 2024 to encourage more countries to join the Investment Round.

iii.France, Germany and Norway announced that they would co-hosts for the Investment Round.

iv.Countries which showed their support to Investment Round: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and the United States of America (USA).

v.Qatar Minister of Health Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari announced a contribution of $4 million in fully flexible funds to the Investment Round.

WHO Announced Winners of 5th Health for All Film Festival

On 26th May 2024, WHO announced the winners of 5th Health for All Film Festival (HAFF) during a special event launch of WHO’s Investment Round on the eve of WHA 77 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Key Points:

i.A total of 61 films were shortlisted out of the 1000 entries received from filmmakers across the world on various issues like: gender equity and war trauma to burnout, climate change and healthy ageing.

iii.Jury of the 5th HAFF includes Distinguished personalities like: Nandita Das (Indian Actor and Director); Sharon Stone (American Actress), Alfonso Herrera (Mexican Actor and Singer), Yusra Mardini (Olympic Swimmer and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador), Mario Macilau (Multi-disciplinary Artist) and Paul Jerndal(Swedish Director).

iv.The festival gave 4 special prizes in different categories: Student-Produced Film, Film on Physical Activity and Health, Film on Migrants and Refugees Health and a Very Short film.

v.Visionary Women of Indonesia (Indonesia) , film based on disabilities, blindness and Rehabilitation won the Universal Health Coverage “Grand Prix” award.

vi.Color (Spain) based on gender equality, won Better Health and Well-being “Grand Prix” award.

WHA 77 Adopted Amendments to the International Health Regulations 2005

On 1st June 2024, WHA 77 unanimously adopted various amendments to the International Regulations 2005 (IHR 2005) based on 300 proposals made by member states after COVID-19 Pandemic.

  • The amendments aimed to improve countries’ ability to prepare for and respond to Public Health Emergencies of International Concern (PHEIC) and Pandemic Emergencies (PEs).
  • It include provisions to provide equitable access to relevant health products during PHEIC and PE and also to mobilize financial resources to support developing countries in building, strengthening, and maintaining the core capacities required under IHR (2005).

Key Points:

i.On 28th May 2024,a proposal to various amendments to IHR (2005) was put forward by of Apurva Chandra, Chair of Committee A of the WHA.

ii.It proposed to set up single drafting group, to be co-chaired by one Bureau from the Intergovernmental Negotiating Body  (INB) and also to set up the Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations (2005)(WGIHR).

WHO Released Strategic Framework to Combat Global Mpox Outbreaks

On 24th May 2024, The WHO released a Strategic framework for enhancing prevention and control of mpox (Monkey pox) (2024–2027) to guide health authorities, communities and other stakeholders in preventing and controlling mpox outbreaks, eliminating human-to-human transmission of the disease, and reducing spillover of the virus from animals to humans.

  • This also aims to eliminate human-to-human transmission of the disease.

About Mpox:

i.It is contagious viral disease caused by monkey pox virus (MPXV).

ii.Some of the symptoms of the disease are: painful rash, enlarged lymph nodes, and fever.

iii.Between 2017 and 2023, the Mpox outbreaks were declared as Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

WHO Organised “Walk the Talk” Yoga Session Event in Geneva

The WHO organsied “Walk the Talk” yoga session event at the Place des Nations (Palace of Nations) in Geneva, Switzerland ahead of International Yoga Day 2024 (21st June 2024).

  • Union Health Secretary, Apurva Chandra and DG of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus participated in the event.