WHO published a news release on May 24: World Health Assembly closes. It deals with a number of critical issues, and it's a reminder that without careful attention to public health infrastructure, effective response to outbreaks and emerging diseases just can't happen. Excerpt:
The Sixty-seventh World Health Assembly closed today, after adopting more than 20 resolutions on public health issues of global importance.
“This has been an intense Health Assembly, with a record-breaking number of agenda items, documents and resolutions, and nearly 3 500 registered delegates,” said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO’s Director-General. “This is a reflection of the growing number of complexity of health issues, and your deep interest in addressing them.”
A number of the Health Assembly resolutions were approved today on the following issues.
Antimicrobial drug resistance
The delegates recognized their growing concern of antimicrobial resistance and urged governments to strengthen national action and international collaboration. This requires sharing information on the extent of resistance and the use of antibiotics in humans and animals. It also involves improving awareness among health providers and the public of the threat posed by resistance, the need for responsible use of antibiotics, and the importance of good hand hygiene and other measures to prevent infections.
The resolution urges Member States to strengthen drug management systems, to support research to extend the lifespan of existing drugs, and to encourage the development of new diagnostics and treatment options.
As requested in the resolution, WHO will develop a draft global action plan to combat antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance for presentation to the World Health Assembly for approval next year.
Implementation of the International Health Regulations (2005)
Yellow fever is a disease specified in the International Health Regulations (2005) for which countries may require proof of vaccination from travellers as a condition of entry under certain circumstances, and may take certain measures if an arriving traveller does not have this certificate in his possession.
The Health Assembly adopted revised provisions on yellow fever vaccination or revaccination under the International Health Regulations (2005). These include extending the validity of a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever from 10 years to the extent of the life of the vaccinated person. The revised provisions are based on the recommendations of the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on immunization following its scientific review and analysis of evidence.
Member States reaffirmed their strong and continuous commitment to the implementation of International Health Regulations (2005).