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Statement by the Global Coalition on the EU-led Draft Resolution on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies

As Members of the Global Coalition for Circulatory Health, the International Diabetes Federation, the International Society for Nephrology, the World Heart Federation and the World Stroke Organization thank you for the opportunity to provide inputs on the EU-led Draft Resolution on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies. The Global Coalition for Circulatory Health brings together international, regional and national stakeholders in circulatory health to drive the urgent action needed to combat diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

As Members of the Global Coalition for Circulatory Health, we support and welcome the proposed resolution to increase efforts to build and strengthen WHO mechanisms and preparedness systems to protect the global population against the spread of disease and to minimize the health risks associated with health emergencies.

People living with non-communicable diseases (NCDs), in particular circulatory conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease, are at higher risk of poor outcomes during health crises. In the face of health emergencies, a strategic response and joint operational plans are essential to provide people living with NCDs with the necessary support to access and receive treatment.

Hence, we call upon the Member States to include the following in the Resolution on Strengthening WHO Preparedness for and Response to Health Emergencies:

  • Strengthen WHO’s capacity to include and tackle NCDs and their multi-morbidity/co-morbidity implications in its response to health-emergencies
  • Develop practical guidelines and recommendations for Member States on the equitable inclusion and protection of extremely vulnerable people affected by NCDs in their national intervention programs, in response to health emergencies
  • Develop strategic responses and joint operational plans to ensure the timely treatment of circulatory diseases – diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and stroke – including access to essential medications, dialysis equipment and supplies, safe and rapid transportation, and access to appropriate levels of care and expert transplantation during health crises, including in protracted crises.
  • Tax Unhealthy Commodities: Introduce or increase taxes on unhealthy commodities such as tobacco products, alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Governments could use such resources to ensure the adequate, flexible, sustainable and predictable financing of current and future health emergencies.