Carib ministers of health for 72nd World Assembly

Monday, May 20, 2019

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GENEVA (CMC) — The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says Caribbean ministers of health will be among health authorities from the Americas participating in the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, which gets underway this week.

The assembly, which runs from May 20 through May 28, will bring together more than 4,000 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,” PAHO said.

It said 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, which includes the Caribbean, will participate in the assembly with its representatives from PAHO; the regional office for the Americas of WHO, headed by its director, Dr 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 organisation, appoint a director general, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme 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, PAHO said delegations from the Americas will also be promoting a variety of events relating to universal health; non-communicable diseases; access to affordable medicines and health products; healthy aging; migration and universal health; efforts to eliminate malaria; and air pollution.among other issues.

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