68th World Health Assembly

WHO adopted the global action plan on antimicrobial resistance, but finance for implementation of big ideas was not forthcoming

Published: Tuesday 19 May 2015

Adam Kamradt-Scott is a senior lecturer at the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, Australia. In his recently published book, Managing Global Health Security, Kamradt-Scott talks about disease outbreak control by the World Health Organization. He talks to Vibha Varshney at the 68th World Health Assembly in Geneva
Most definitely yes. Based on the failures of the WHO's first global eradication programme that targeted malaria, the organisation formed a very standard approach in which it mainly sought to coordinate the efforts of governments while avoiding the risk of being viewed too prescriptive.
World Health Assembly accepts recommendations of the commission on ending childhood obesity
Author: Ananya Tewari, Amit Khurana
The 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) on Monday approved the interim report of the commission on ending childhood obesity, recommending the elimination of unhealthy foods from schools and asking for restrictions on promotion of such foods targeted at children.
The action plan is a historic resolution to combat antimicrobial resistance by addressing all contributing factors-human, animal and agricultural. India needs momentous regulatory measures urgently
Author: Amit Khurana, Vibha Varshney, Mouna Nagaraju
The 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) approved on Monday the amended resolution on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with strong support from member countries. A draft resolution had been submitted earlier by several countries, including 28 member states of the European Union. Delegates submitted comments on the plan, but it was deferred for adoption as India wanted more discussion.
Crucial decisions, like those on curbing antimicrobial resistance and tackling air pollution and its health effects, postponed
Author: Vibha Varshney
The 68th World Health Assembly has been on for six days now, but the meeting, which is being attended by the 194 member nations of WHO, has yielded little when it comes to the most contentious issues. Curbing antimicrobial resistance, which has become a global pandemic, is being discussed only informally and as for tackling the scourge of air pollution, non-state actors are in drafting committees. The Global Vaccine Action Plan, too, is being discussed. Monday would be a busy day as most of the decisions have been delayed.
Developed countries question the move of developing countries to introduce amendments in the Global Vaccine Action Plan
Author: Vibha Varshney
The issue of access to life-saving vaccines has been suspended once again. On May 19, Libya had proposed a change in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) to ensure that vaccines are available at affordable prices to increase availability in developing countries. Libya said it had become too costly to provide vaccination after GAVI, a public-private partnership that works for increasing access to immunisation in developing countries, stopped support.
India, which lacks controls on antibiotic use in poultry and meat, said that antimicrobial resistance must be seen as a development challenge
Author: Vibha Varshney, Amit Khurana, Mouna Nagaraju
Discussions on the draft global action plan on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are in progress at the 68th World Health Assembly (WHA) currently being held in Geneva.

Last year, the 67th WHA had asked the World Health Organizations’s (WHO) director-general to draft a global action plan to combat antimicrobial resistance. The WHO drafted a global action plan after several rounds of consultations with member states and submitted it for consideration at the 68th WHA in March this year.

With the goal “to ensure, for as long as possible, continuity of successful treatment and prevention of infectious diseases with effective and safe medicines that are quality-assured, used in a responsible way, and accessible to all who need them”, the draft action plan recognises the need for urgent action with national, international and mulitsectoral action.
Even as countries accepted the proposed programme budget, member states demanded more transparency in the way WHO funds are disbursed. A look at what happened behind the scenes on Day 3 of the World Health Assembly
Author: Vibha Varshney
The member states of the World Health Organisation (WHO) behaved like strict parents refusing to give pocket money. The third day of the assembly clearly showed that WHO is trying hard to keep member states happy to ensure a smooth supply of money.
Experts fear India will accept the draft global action plan on antimicrobial resistance despite reservations
Author: Vibha Varshney
It must be rare for the host of an international meeting to attend a side event. But that is exactly what happened on the second day of the World Health Assembly. WHO Director-General Margaret Chan entered when the event on "Political commitment and global efforts to accelerate the responsible use of antimicrobials" was in progress.
Health as an agenda in Sustainable Development Goals dominated discussions on first day
Author: Vibha Varshney
The first day of the World Health Assembly (WHA) began with a surprise, at least for me. India's health minister J P Nadda was chosen as the president of the assembly. The rest of the day, however, was full of talks ranging from Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany to Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). While the former asked for a plan to deal with “catastrophes” like Ebola, Chan later revealed in her speech that WHO is already in the process of creating a single new WHO programme for health emergencies. Besides, J P Nadda talked about World Yoga day.
WHO will evaluate performance related to MDGs and set priorities for the coming year, including plans to fight antimicrobial resistance
Author: Vibha Varshney
Each year, representatives of 194 member countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) gather at the World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva.

This year, from May 18 to 26, participants will discuss topics relevant to global health such as communicable and non-communicable diseases, nutrition and genetic diseases, reforms to funding and transition from millennium development goals (MDGs) to sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Down To Earth highlights the world's performance on health-related development goals, where our successes lie and where efforts are still a work-in-progress
Author: Shreeshan Venkatesh
The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) draw to a close this year. Leaders of 192 nations signed the UN Millennium Declaration of 2000 as part of global efforts to eliminate poverty.

The World Health Organization (WHO), on Wednesday, released this year’s World Health Statistics (WHS) which evaluate achievements in health with respect to targets set as part of the MDGs.

While WHS lists some landmark accomplishments reported in the 15 years since the beginning of the global programme, the overall results have been a mixed bag with great variations between regions and countries. The health-related goals of the MDGs have focused on hunger, child and maternal mortality, reproductive health, major communicable diseases and access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. 

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