World health assembly begins in Geneva

Published May 23, 2022
GENEVA: Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel attending the World Health Assembly on Sunday.—PPI
GENEVA: Federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel attending the World Health Assembly on Sunday.—PPI

ISLAMABAD: Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the first in-person World Health Assembly (WHA) began in Geneva on Sunday.

The Pakistani delegation is being led by federal Minister for Health Abdul Qadir Patel. The delegation will share the vision “Health for Peace and Peace for Health” with the participants of the assembly.

According to a statement, issued by the Ministry of National Health Services, the 75th WHA is being attended by representatives of 194 countries.

“Abdul Qadir Patel is attending the assembly with a high-level delegation which includes Secretary Health Amir Ashraf Khawaja and Director General Health Rana Safdar. The delegation will debrief the assembly on Paki­tan’s Covid-19 response,” it stated.

Pakistan will share its vision ‘health for peace and peace for health’ with participants

The ministry said the delegation will hold meetings with world leaders and discuss important health initiatives. Mutual discussions on health projects will also be part of the meetings.

According to a statement issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), organisation’s Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Gheb­reyesus in his opening address said that the pandemic was most certainly not over.

“This virus has surprised us at every turn — a storm that has torn through communities again and again, and we still can’t predict its path, or its intensity. We lower our guard at our peril. Almost one billion people in lower-income countries remain unvaccinated. Only 57 countries have vaccinated 70pc of their population — almost all of them high income. We must continue to support all countries to reach 70pc vaccination coverage as soon as possible, including 100pc of those aged over 60; 100pc of health workers; and 100pc of those with underlying conditions,” he said.

“The pandemic is not the only crisis in our world. We face a formidable convergence of disease, drought, famine and war, fuelled by climate change, inequity and geopolitical rivalry. You have a full agenda this week — from designing the health workforce of the future, to finishing the eradication of polio, to building a new architecture for global health security; and renewing the drive towards universal health coverage. But none of it can truly succeed in a divided world. It can only succeed if countries work to put aside their differences; to seek common ground where it can be found; to collaborate where possible; to compromise where needed; to seek peace,” he added.

Published in Dawn, May 23rd, 2022

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