World Health Assembly endorse resolutions on meningitis, epilepsy control

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says delegates attending the virtual session of the 73rd World Health Assembly (WHA) have adopted two resolutions on meningitis and epilepsy control.

The organisation disclosed this in a statement posted on its website on Friday

The WHA is the decision-making body of the WHO, and it is being attended by delegations from all member states.

The world body stated that member states recommended the adoption of the two resolutions on meningitis control and epilepsy at the 73rd World Health Assembly.

It added that “Committee A, which focuses on programme and budget matters, decided to recommend the adoption of the first-ever resolution on meningitis, which will approve a global roadmap to defeat meningitis by 2030.

“Meningitis is a disease that kills 300,000 people annually and leaves one in five of those affected with devastating long-term consequences.

“The Committee also recommended the adoption of a resolution calling for scaled-up and integrated action on epilepsy and other neurological disorders such as stroke, migraine and dementia.

“Neurological disorders are the leading cause of disability and the second leading cause of death worldwide.”

In addition, the statement stated, the Committee further decided to recommend the adoption of a decision endorsing the new roadmap for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

“The roadmap, which targets year 2030, aims to reduce the number of people requiring treatment for NTDs by 90 per cent.

“It also hopes to eliminate at least one NTD in 100 countries, eradicate two diseases (dracunculiasis and yaws), and reduce by 75 per cent, the Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) related to NTDs.”

The WHO statement noted that the Committee A noted the Operational Framework for Primary Health Care, which aligned with the Declaration of Astana and resolution WHA72.2 (2019).

It noted that WHO established a Special Programme on Primary Health Care to roll out the Operational Framework – supporting Member States to build people-centred, resilient and sustainable primary health care-based health systems.

It pointed out that Committee B – which deals predominantly with administrative, financial and legal matters – reviewed the Director-General’s report on “Health Conditions in Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan.

The Committee also decided, by vote, to recommend the adoption of a decision requesting the Director-General, among others, to report on progress in the implementation of its recommendations to the next World Health Assembly.

“All resolutions and decisions recommended by the Committees for adoption by the 73rd World Health Assembly will be included in the Committees’ reports to be considered by the Assembly,’’ it added.

The main functions of the WHA are to determine the policies of the organisation, appoint the Director-General, supervise financial policies, as well as review and approve proposed programme budget.

The WHA usually takes place in May, but this year, given the COVID-19 pandemic, a reduced (de minimis) WHA took place on May 18 and May 19.

The resumed WHA73, which started on Nov. 9, ended on Friday. (NAN)