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WHF attends WHO Special Session of the Executive Board

From 22-23 November, WHF participated in a Special Session of the WHO Executive Board in Geneva, Switzerland, held to discuss the Draft 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13) for the years 2019-2023.

GPW13 sets out three strategic priorities for WHO: ‘Health Coverage’, ‘Health Emergencies’ and ‘Health Priorities’, with a vision to ‘Promote health, keep the world safe, serve the vulnerable’.

The draft GPW13 is accompanied by an ‘Impact Framework’, which explains how success of the strategy will be measured and evaluated.

Governments supported this ambitious vision and mission, and the alignment of GPW13 with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), though expressed concerns about the costs of implementation and how WHO would become more operational. Member States also requested further information on targets and indicators include in the Impact Framework.

Position of WHF

The current draft of GPW13 was open for consultation prior to the Executive Board meeting, and the WHF compiled and submitted a response to the draft based on comments drawn from WHF Members, Board and staff.

WHF delivered a policy statement at the session, which was supported by the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO), World Hypertension League (WHL) and World Stroke Organization (WSO). Among its key comments and recommendations were:

  • Strong support for WHO’s top strategic priority of supporting ‘countries to strengthen health systems in order to progress towards UHC’.
  • A recommendation to add a target of 80% coverage of NCD essential medicines and technologies to the Impact Framework, and to make ‘Access to NCD essential medicines and technologies’ a WHO flagship initiative.
  • A request to WHO to outline in GPW13 its plans for fast-tracking the implementation of the framework for engagement with non-State actors, or FENSA (a key step to building partnerships to address social, economic, commercial and environmental determinants of health).

You can read the statement delivered by WHF here, and our full consultation response here.

Next Steps

The WHO Executive Board announced that a revised and updated GPW13 and Impact Framework will be released on 5th January 2018 for discussion at the 142nd Session of the WHO Executive Board (or ‘EB142’), which will be held from 22-27 January 2018.