WHA74 ISSUES

May. 29, 2021

Strengthening local production of medicines and other health technologies to improve access

Member State requests for WHO’s support in strengthening local production have been increasing in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to highlight even more the urgent need for enhancing quality manufacturing capacity in all regions of the world, including for innovative, highly effective health products such as mRNA technologies. Such capacity is necessary to address or even avert future public health emergencies and to improve access to health products in general through stronger health systems.

Sponsored by more than 100 countries, today’s resolution specifically calls for a more comprehensive, all-of-government approach, national strategies and action plans, an enabling business environment, human capital development, multi-stakeholder collaboration and engagement in regional and global networks.

WHO has already committed to holding the first ever World Local Production Forum in June this year, convening countries, partners and other stakeholders to discuss strategies to promote local production to improve access to health products during the current pandemic and beyond. 

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May. 29, 2021

Tackling social determinants of health
The goal of this resolution is to reduce the glaring health inequities recently highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, through stronger action to tackle the social determinants that play such a prominent role in defining people’s ability to live healthy lives.

These include the conditions people live in, as well as their access to power, money, and resources, including healthcare. They are often driven by discrimination and persecution, such as racism, sexism, classism and war. And they impact every aspect of health.

Children from the poorest households in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are twice as likely to die before their 5th birthday as those from the richest households. People in rich countries live as many as 16 years longer than those in poor ones.

The World Health Assembly adopted resolutions on social determinants of health in 2009 (following the report of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health) and in 2012 (following the World Conference on Social Determinants of Health and the Rio Political Declaration on the Social Determinants of Health).

The social and health inequalities exposed by COVID-19 have led to renewed interest by Member States in WHO’s work on social determinants of health, and this new resolution.

The resolution aims to strengthen action globally and within countries on the social determinants of health; to reduce health inequities by involving all sectors in taking concrete action to improve living conditions and reduce social inequalities; and improve monitoring of social determinants and health inequities. The resolution lists actions to be taken by governments, civil society, international organizations, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector and the WHO Secretariat, including in continuing efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and in future recovery efforts.

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Social determinants of health
World Health Day 2021: Building a fairer, healthier world
May. 28, 2021

May. 28, 2021

Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Wellbeing for All – SDG GAP

Delegates highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic has reversed a decade of progress on SDG targets and underscored the need to redouble efforts by accelerating implementation of SDG3 GAP, WHO’s 13th general programme of work, and the Primary Health Care special programme.

There was wide support for the SDG3 GAP and WHO's convening role.  Delegates noted the GAP’s key role in strengthening primary health care and advancing progress towards the targets set out in the Global Strategy on Women's, Children's and Adolescents' health.  They also emphasized its focus on country-level impact and its critical role in supporting equitable and resilient recovery.  

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May. 28, 2021

Extension of the Global Coordination Mechanism for Noncommunicable Diseases

The Global Coordination Mechanism (GCM) for Noncommunicable Diseases will be extended until 2030. The GCM was established in 2014. 

A number of measures have been recommended to improve its effectiveness. These include development of a workplan for the delivery of the 5 functions for which the GCM has responsibility. The plan will include a clear vision, a robust results framework, performance and outcome indicators and clarity on how the mechanism will carry out its functions in a way that is integrated with WHO’s ongoing work on NCDs. The plan will be submitted to the World Health Assembly in 2022, after consideration by the Executive Board.  

Practical tools for sharing knowledge and disseminating information about innovative activities from a variety of stakeholders working at country level will be developed. So will a global stock-take of action from various stakeholders at country level, together with guidance to Member States on engagement with non-State actors, including on the prevention and management of potential risks. Advice will be provided to civil society on how to develop national multi-stakeholder responses to NCDs and hold governments to account; and the capacity of people living with NCDs to participate in the co-creation of whole-of-society responses to NCDs will be strengthened.

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