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World Health Assembly Comes to an End After Agreeing on Important Health Issues

The World Health Assembly meeting held in Geneva came to a close on Tuesday after passing important decisions such as establishing a $ 100 contingency for public health emergencies. Other key deliberations passed at the meeting included the adoption of an action plan for combating antimicrobial resistance and setting up of an emergency workforce.

Fundamental resolutions on anti-microbial resistance (AMR), health impacts of air pollution and World Health Organization response to health emergencies were also adopted at the 68th edition World Health Assembly. At the same event, an action plan dubbed the Global Strategy and Plan Action on Public Health Innovation and Intellectual Property (GSPOA) was unveiled.

According to Bruce Aylward, WHO Assistant Director for Emergencies the meeting had agreed on establishing a contingency of $ 100 million which will be funded by voluntary contributors and will be used at the discretion of the DG for the first three months”. Bruce said this in a press conference held after the meeting to brief journalists about what had transpired at the meeting.

India also promised to give $ 2.1 million as a voluntary contribution to World Health Organization to help the body implement research and development demonstration projects for the member states. In the wake of the recent Ebola outbreak, there was urgent need to set aside a global fund to cater for such occurrences, noted the speakers at the meeting. The meeting also resolved to establish emergency and uniting centers in member countries to handle outbreaks such as Ebola.

At the meeting, the WHA program budget for the year 2016 and 2017 was also approved. The minister for Health and Family Welfare Mr. JP Nadda, who served as the president of this year’s health assembly said in his conclusion remarks that “The 68th WHA will be most remembered for the crucial resolutions that were reached upon”. In his own words, Nadda said that the resolutions will shape the collective efforts of the organization in the years to come. “We are proud of the outcome of this meeting” he added. “This assembly has produced some groundbreaking decisions that landmark resolutions which are of utmost important to the development of global health” he concluded.

It is hoped that the decisions of the just concluded meeting will be implemented to achieve the intended results in the stipulated time. It is also hoped that a proper framework will be put in place to ensure equitable distribution of the $ 100 contingency fund.

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