Goal 3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Around the world, there are still children that experience malnutrition leading to stunting, low birth weight, overweight and wasting. Also, there are children who are less breastfed and mothers with anaemia. But countries at the annual World Health Assembly (WHA) last week agreed to continue work towards improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition as well as put an end to all forms of malnutrition by 2030. Continue reading ->
Some 90 percent of people in the world who need assistive technology – such as glasses, walkers, or hearing aids - cannot access it, with the worst deficiency in developing countries. Today, World Health Organization members agreed on a resolution to improve access to those technologies, with overwhelming support. The WHO is instructed to provide support to countries and prepare a global report by 2021. Member states are requested to promote innovation and find ways to reduce prices. Continue reading ->
Ten years after the adoption of a World Health Organization plan of action meant to stimulate innovation for diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries, and with very little to show for it since, delegates at the World Health Assembly this week agreed to a number of recommendations to reinvigorate the effort. How to finance the implementation of those recommendations, however, is unclear. Continue reading ->
The World Health Assembly this week agreed on a roadmap to be designed by the World Health Organization in consultation with member states to facilitate access to medicines and vaccines, including actions and activities for the period 2019-2023. If everyone agrees access to medicines and vaccines is indispensable for universal health coverage, views are still divided when it comes to intellectual property rights. The ranks of strong proponents of IP resulting in high prices are however thinning. The United States remains unshakeable, criticising compulsory licences used by countries to ensure affordable medicines are available. Continue reading ->
Below are a few highlights of key developments taking place during this week's World Health Assembly (WHA). The head of the World Health Organization speaks on the nexus of primary health care and universal health coverage, and US Health Secretary Alex Azar told an industry side event that the world is still unprepared to battle another pandemic like the 1918 Spanish flu. Continue reading ->
African ministers of Health - meeting as a working group on 19 May - unanimously adopted the Treaty for the establishment of the African Medicines Agency (AMA). The accord is expected to be endorsed by heads of states and governments of the African Union at their next major summit in January 2019 and will enter into force after 15 member states have ratified it. Margaret Angama-Anyetei from the African Union Commission discusses with Health Policy Watch the scope, aspirations, and challenges ahead for the new regulatory agency for the AU. Continue reading ->