Bulletin #26: The World Health Assembly back in session

This fortnight  

The World Health Organization is holding its first in-person assembly since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) will last until 28 May, bringing discussions on non-communicable diseases, health emergencies, health workforce planning, and much more. We bring an overview of the WHA agenda by the WHO Watch team, to be complemented by a series of in-depth analyses in the coming days.

The WHA is taking place only a couple of weeks before the 12th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, where further debates about the TRIPS waiver are expected. In a new video interview, Lauren Paremoer from the People’s Health Movement South Africa talks about highlights from both the WHA and the upcoming Ministerial Conference.

In the first days of the WHA, over one million Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers were awarded the WHO’s Global Health Leaders Award. While their contribution to upholding the right to health has been recognized internationally, in India they are still struggling to achieve better working conditions and due acknowledgment.

The World Health Assembly also discussed a report on the health status in Palestine, which received widespread support from delegates from the Global South. While countries from Latin America, Africa and Asia expressed their solidarity with Palestinians, rich countries led by Israel and the US continued to resist the report.

Non-emergency ambulance drivers and nurses in Croatia went on strike to protest unequal pay and difficult working conditions. Approximately 30 thousand allied health workers in Uganda also opted for industrial action as their salaries remain inadequate for securing essential needs.

While many health workers are taking action in order to improve their working conditions, a recent study warns that the global shortage of health workers might be even more serious than previously anticipated. You can find more on the global shortage of health workers in Data speaks.

Finally, we bring an overview of the recent spread of monkeypox, an event that continues to vex scientists and public health officials.

WHO to hold first in-person assembly since onset of pandemic

The World Health Assembly is going to discuss topics of great relevance for our times, but in order to make necessary change the WHO must step up and recognize the fundamental issues plaguing global governance of health

Lauded by WHO, India’s frontline health workers are still fighting for basic rights

Over one million Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers have been awarded the WHO’s Global Health Leaders Award, recognizing their role in ensuring access to care in a health system that is still widely inaccessible, and increasingly privatized

Global South in solidarity with Palestine at World Health Assembly

Delegates from the Global South expressed solidarity with Palestine during a discussion on a report on the health status in occupied Palestine and the occupied Syrian Golan

Ambulance drivers and nurses strike in Croatia

Non-emergency ambulance drivers and nurses in eight counties of Croatia held a strike on the grounds of pay disparity

Short reads

Health workers in Uganda strike over pay disparities and unkept promises

A strike by allied health workers in Uganda has led nurses and physicians to announce industrial action too in case the government fails to live up to its promises of increasing salaries

Monkeypox emerges as a concern

The rare viral disease’s spread in different populations outside Africa has alarmed scientists and investigations are on to ascertain the reasons

Video: What will happen to pandemic response after WHO and WTO meetings?

Lauren Paremoer from the People’s Health Movement South Africa talks about how the recent World Health Assembly and the Ministerial Conference of the WTO will have a major role in deciding the course of the response in case of new health emergencies and pandemics

Data speaks

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