The World Health Assembly convened annually for a week to set policies on a broad range of high-priority health issues has come to an end in Geneva.

The meeting for this year which ended on May 28 has been noted to be the biggest in the history of World Health Assemblies.

It brought together over some 3,500 people. About 21 resolutions were discussed by delegations from WHO’s 194 members.

Among the several issues discussed at the World Health Assembly were Pollution, Chemicals, and Children Health.

Below are some of the issues discussed and the resolutions made:

– According to the World Health Organization, every year a total of 4.3 million deaths occur from exposure to indoor air pollution and 3.7 million deaths are attributable to outdoor air pollution. These figures were released during the World Health Assembly (WHA) on Friday. The delegates welcomed a new road map for responding to the adverse health effects of air pollution, which outlines actions to be taken between 2016 and 2019.

– A resolution on the health sector’s role in the sound management of chemicals was also approved. This is due to the fact that particularly in developing countries, chemicals often contribute to the global burden of disease and death. The assembly presented figures which showed that worldwide, 1.3 million lives are lost every year due to exposures to chemicals, such as lead and pesticides.

– The assembly agreed to adopt the Global Strategy on Human Resources for Health, which aims to accelerate progress towards universal health coverage and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by ensuring equitable access to health workers in every country.

– According to the Assembly’s resolution, the global economy is projected to create around 40 million new health sector jobs by 2030, mostly in middle and high-income countries, and there will be a projected shortage of 18 million health workers needed to achieve the SDGs in low- and lower-middle income countries.

– They also agreed a resolution on the World Health Organization (WHO) global plan of action on violence, which is designed to help countries strengthen action to address interpersonal violence, in particular violence against women, girls and children.

Author: Ope Adedeji