FDI at the sixty-sixth World Health Assembly

WHPA meeting

From left to right, myself, Brenda J. Myers (secretary general of the World Confederation for Physical Therapy), Cecil Wilson (president of the World Medical Association), Michel Buchmann (president of the International Pharmaceutical Federation).

The Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly (WHO) took place in Geneva. Officials from 194 Member States begin their annual review of the activities of WHO and set new priorities for the future. The Health Assembly discussed discuss specific health topics like noncommunicable diseases (NCD’s), universal health coverage, women and children’s health, as well as the programme budget, administration, reform and management matters of WHO.

Of particular interest to FDI will be the report on progress in various fields related to noncommunicable diseases and the draft action plan to the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases 2013-2020.

I’m looking forward to this year’s Assembly. Despite oral health not being assigned a separate section in the draft work programme, thanks to our work in Geneva and our members at the national level, oral health is not absent, rather it is a cross-cutting issue between all areas of WHO work.

In particular, the link between NCDs and oral disease, in particular oral cancer, is explicitly mentioned. A great deal of emphasis is placed on Clause 54 of the United Nations Political Declaration of the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases in relation to involving “the private sector and civil society, in collaborative partnerships to promote health and to reduce noncommunicable disease risk factors”.

In parallel, the World Health Professions Alliance WHPA launched a reception joining heads of delegations and WHO selected representatives of international health organizations.

The WHPA brings together the global organizations representing the world’s dentists, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and physicians and speaks for more than 26 million health care professionals in more than 130 countries. WHPA works to improve global health and the quality of patient care and facilitates collaboration among the health professions and major stakeholders.

The theme was collaborative practice “World’s health professions call for new emphasis on working together” (PDF). You can also consult the official press-release (PDF).


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