Update from the Seventy-fourth World Health Assembly – May 28, 2021
- New resolutions on the health and care workforce and strategic directions for nursing and midwifery
- Patient safety decisions; health, environment and climate change; chemicals management; coordination of work on noncommunicable diseases
- Global Plan of Action for Healthy Lives and Well-Being for All
- Prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment
Protect, safeguard and invest in health and care personnel
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the essential role of all health and care workers at the forefront of the pandemic, who have faced multiple risks related to their health, well-being and safety.
The resolution on Protect, safeguard and invest in health and care personnel calls to action to ensure that investments in our people ensure they are: qualified, trained, equipped, supported and empowered. It stresses the need for a living wage, recognition, a safe working environment and the protection of their rights.
The resolution stresses the need to:
It directs the Director-General to update and strengthen the implementation of the WHO action plan for health employment and inclusive economic growth, in collaboration with Member States and partners. concerned.
the Global Strategic Directions for Nursing and Midwifery 2021-2025 and the accompanying resolution provides policy recommendations on education, employment, leadership and service delivery that will help countries ensure that their nurses and midwives have maximum impact on health outcomes. population health. These policies are drawn from data published in the State of the World Nursing Report (2020) and the State of the World Midwifery Report (2021).
2021 is the International Year of the Health and Care Workers. At the heart of this year is the recognition that in order to manage the pandemic, maintain health services, improve health workforce preparedness, education and learning, and equitably deploy COVID-19 immunization, the world must protect and invest in health and care workers. .
Patient safety decision aims to eliminate preventable harm in healthcare globally
Delegates agreed to concrete action to eliminate preventable harm in healthcare by adopting the first-ever “Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030”. Each year, millions of patients are injured or die due to unsanitary health care around the world, with 134 million adverse events occurring each year in low- and middle-income countries alone, contributing to 2.6 million death. Even in high-income countries, about 1 in 10 patients are injured while in hospital care. It is estimated that almost half of these events are preventable.
In 2019, a WHO resolution on global patient safety action recognized patient safety as a key global health priority, calling on WHO to consult with countries and stakeholders to formulate a global action plan for patient safety.
Today’s decision provides strategic and practical direction for countries to formulate policies and implement interventions at all levels and in all settings aimed at improving patient safety. The action plan describes the priority actions to be taken by governments, civil society, international organizations, intergovernmental organizations, WHO and, above all, by health establishments around the world. WHO will work in cooperation with Member States to develop their respective implementation plans, according to their national context.
Global Strategy on Health, Environment and Climate Change
Important steps have already been taken to implement WHO’s 2019 global strategy on health, environment and climate change: the transformation needed to sustainably improve lives and well-being through healthy environments.
These include the manifesto for a green and healthy recovery from COVID-19, an action plan on biodiversity and health; advocacy for water, sanitation and hygiene in health care facilities; launch of the Global Initiative on Hand Hygiene for All; health messages for the next COP-26 (United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change); the global campaign to prevent lead poisoning; various regional action plans and forums to support the action of countries in the field of health and the environment. WHO has provided support to a number of countries on projects related to health and the environment.
Delegates to the World Health Assembly have now decided to report on the progress of the strategy in 2, 4 and 8 years.
International chemicals management and the role of the health sector
Delegates also agreed to report again two years from now on progress made in implementing the WHO chemicals roadmap, stressing the essential role of health in the sound management of chemicals and the need to integrate chemicals management into all health programs. They also requested the Secretariat to update the roadmap to prepare recommendations for the Strategic Approach and the sound management of chemicals and wastes beyond 2020.
Extension of the global coordination mechanism for noncommunicable diseases
The Global Coordinating 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 the development of a work plan for the execution of the 5 functions for which the CMG is responsible. The plan will include a clear vision, a strong results framework, performance and outcome indicators, and details on how the mechanism will perform its functions in a manner integrated with WHO’s ongoing work on MNT. The plan will be submitted to the World Health Assembly in 2022, after review by the Executive Board.
Practical tools for knowledge sharing and dissemination of information on innovative activities of various stakeholders working at country level will be developed. The same will be true for a global inventory of the actions of different stakeholders at country level, as well as 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 multi-stakeholder national responses to NCDs and hold governments to account; and the capacity of people living with NCDs to participate in co-creating society-wide responses to NCDs will be strengthened.
Global Plan of Action for Healthy Lives and Well-Being 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 the implementation of the WHO SDG3 GAP, the 13th. .e general program of work and special program in primary health care.
SDG3 GAP and WHO’s convening role received broad support. Delegates noted GAP’s key role in strengthening primary health care and advancing progress towards the goals set out in the Global Strategy on Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health. They also emphasized impact at the country level and its critical role in supporting equitable and resilient recovery.
Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse
During the strategic briefing Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse: from policy to practice in health emergencies, the Secretariat described what WHO is doing at all levels of the organization to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and harassment.
WHO is committed to a comprehensive, holistic and survivor-centered approach to PSEA and sexual harassment, and is taking action in the areas of policy, capacity building and operations. PSEA focal points in Ukraine, Guinea and Bangladesh briefed Member States on their work in crisis situations for communities and staff, including regular and mandatory PSEA training for WHO staff, setting up hotlines to report complaints safely, designating trusted community focal points, and liaising with partner agencies in prevention efforts.
The Director-General addressed 5e meeting of Committee B on item 30.2 of the agenda – the report of the internal auditor on the prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (A74 / 36). The Director-General assured the Deputies that they would receive regular monthly updates on the Independent Commission’s investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct during the response to the 10e Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Secretariat will also organize quarterly briefings to Member States, as required by the Executive Board, and have dedicated agenda items for future WHO governance meetings. In addition, WHO:
- create a WHO task force, led by a senior woman, to accelerate the implementation of WHO policies and procedures across the Organization, taking a holistic approach to prevention and management of sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment. The task force will also oversee the implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Commission;
- establish an informal advisory group of external experts who can advise on best in class approaches, recognizing that Member States and other entities have valuable experience and expertise on which WHO can draw .
Opening remarks by the Director General on agenda item 30.2, report A74 / 36 on prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment, and PBAC report A74 / 51