The 75th World Health Assembly Comes at a Critical Moment for Health Care in the Middle East
This week, the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) will convene key leaders from 194 member states in Geneva to discuss some of the most pressing challenges impacting global public health, with this year’s theme focusing on “health for peace and peace for health.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to weigh on global public health systems, the WHA will discuss ten proposals to improve health emergency preparedness, response and resilience architecture (HEPR) under a new overarching Pandemic Accord that will focus on governance, systems and financing to better equip health systems to address future health emergencies.
Newly diagnosed cancer cases are anticipated to nearly double between 2020 and 2040 in the Middle East and Africa. According to our new report launched in partnership with the Swedish Institute for Health Economics (IHE), leaders need to address health care access barriers, prioritize collaboration and enhance intellectual property rights to support innovation in order to ease the increasing burden of cancer and other rising non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
Specifically, government leaders and health stakeholders must fundamentally rethink health systems to truly make them patient centric. To do this, governments need to improve patient equity and reduce financial barriers. With these changes, access to innovative diagnostics and treatment options will improve, leading to a healthier population and stronger health ecosystem.
During this year’s WHA, delegates will discuss improving upon the Global Coordination Mechanism for non-communicable diseases, a taskforce with aims to reduce premature mortality and unnecessary suffering from NCDs. The collaboration brings together more than 400 participants from member states, United Nations organizations, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions and pharmaceutical companies.
The 75th WHA comes during a critical period to strengthen health system capacities, prepare for future pandemics and address the delays in treatment, diagnosis and care for other diseases impacted by the disruption of the past two years.