Neglected tropical diseases

Success in controlling neglected tropical diseases demonstrates that integrated strategies can stretch the impact of health investments

World Health Assembly enters into second day with busy agenda
Geneva | 21 May 2013

The Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly enters into its second day in Geneva today with about 3000 delegates from 194 countries attending.

Today’s agenda includes addresses by eminent personalities including Dr Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group; Ms Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation of Sweden and Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.

Yesterday the Health Assembly opened with Dr Shigeru Omi of Japan as its new president and the appointment of five vice-presidents from Angola, Haiti, Oman, Ukraine, and Nepal.

In her address during yesterday’s opening session, WHO’s Director-General Dr Margaret Chan highlighted the need for sustained efforts in addressing public health issues and commented on the success of controlling neglected tropical diseases through viable integrated approaches.

The tremendous success in controlling the neglected tropical diseases clearly tells us that integrated strategies can stretch the impact of health investments. They can stretch the value of development dollars” said Dr Chan.

Dr Chan also commended China’s prompt and accurate reporting of the H7N9 avian influenza virus in March this year. She also referred to cases of novel coronavirus reported from the Eastern Mediterranean region, adding that cases remain small with limited human-to-human transmission.

I cannot overemphasize the importance of immediate and fully transparent reporting to WHO and of strict adherence to obligations set out in the International Health Regulations” said Dr Chan.

Dr Chan also commented on financial crisis, job insecurity, armed conflicts the important role of International Health Regulations for detecting and responding to public health emergencies.

Major issues to be discussed during the 8-day meeting in Geneva include a draft resolution on all 17 neglected tropical diseases; prevention and control of non-communicable diseases; the Millennium Development Goals; vaccine-preventable diseases and universal health coverage.