The World Health Assembly has kicked off in Geneva, Switzerland.
The WHO says: “The theme of this year’s Health Assembly is: Health for peace, peace for health. The COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies with international reach have highlighted the leadership and coordinating role of WHO in responding to such events. Strengthening preparedness for and response to health emergencies are a key theme of the Health Assembly.”
The group advises that: “The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO. It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board. The main functions of the World Health Assembly are to determine the policies of the Organization, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, and review and approve the proposed programme budget. The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland.”
In his opening address WHO Director General, Tedros Ghebreyesus told delegates that the world is still grappling with Covid-19. He said: “More than two years into the most severe health crisis in a century, where do we stand? More than 6 million COVID-19 deaths have been reported to WHO. But as you know, our new estimates of excess mortality are much higher – almost 15 million deaths. Reported cases have declined significantly from the peak of the Omicron wave in January of this year. And reported deaths are at their lowest since March 2020. In many countries, all restrictions have been lifted, and life looks much like it did before the pandemic. So is it over? No, it’s most certainly not over.”
— World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) May 22, 2022
Ghebreyesus added: “Only 57 countries have vaccinated 70% of their population – almost all of them high-income countries. We must continue to support all countries to reach 70% vaccination coverage as soon as possible, including 100% of those aged over 60; 100% of health workers; and 100% of those with underlying conditions.”
The World Health Assembly ends on 28 May 2022.