Magazine article The Nation's Health

World Health Assembly Turns Focus to Women, Noncommunicable Diseases

Magazine article The Nation's Health

World Health Assembly Turns Focus to Women, Noncommunicable Diseases

Article excerpt

Innovation is the key to progress in world health, the head of the World Health Organization told members of the World Health Assembly as the group's 65th meeting in Geneva ended May 26.

In her speech, Margaret Chan, MD, MPH, who was appointed to a second five-year term as director-general of WHO during the assembly, thanked member states for their dedication to reaching its goals and noted that they must continue to move forward.

"During difficult times for the world at large, public health continues to move ahead with evermore ambitious goals, building on clear and measurable achievements," she said. "Once again that famous 'spirit of Geneva' prevailed, and you gave birth, often after quite prolonged labor, to some healthy babies."

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The 3,000 attendees at the assembly, representing 194 WHO member states, adopted 21 resolutions and three decisions on a broad range of health issues.

Among the resolutions adopted was one supported by APHA, the World Federation of Public Health Associations and others that requires WHO to provide leadership in collecting and disseminating data on attacks on health in armed conflict. The resolution seeks data on attacks on health facilities, health workers, health transports and patients in complex humanitarian emergencies.

The assembly also adopted several resolutions and decisions on noncom-municable diseases.

One such resolution approves the development of a global framework for the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases and includes a set of global targets, such as a 25 percent reduction in premature mortality from diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes by 2025. …

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