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75th World Health Assembly begins in Geneva

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75th World Health Assembly begins in Geneva

75th World Health Assembly
Gathering of the 74th World Health Assembly, the 75th World Health Assembly begins today – Photo: World Health Organization

The 75th annual World Health Assembly will begin today in Geneva, running until May 28.

The Assembly is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) decision-making body; this year’s Assembly is the first in-person meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme of this year’s meeting is “Health for peace, peace for health” and will address how strong, prepared responses to health emergencies can help maintain peace and global stability. The Assembly will feature strategic roundtables addressing a host of issues, including how to sustainably finance the WHO and reorientating health systems to place primary care at their foundation.

As the pandemic passes the two-year mark, bodies like the Assembly will begin looking toward reshaping health systems. The pandemic exposed that many countries’ existing healthcare infrastructure was critically unprepared to deal with the stresses imposed by major crises, causing political and economic destabilization and necessitating major overhauls. Expect the Assembly to push for broader universal healthcare to guarantee access for larger swaths of society, avoiding the care shortfalls seen during COVID. Further, expect calls for countries to reshape health systems with primary care at the base, hoping that doing so will more equitably distribute the resources of national health systems.

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Photo: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro

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