a civil society alliance for combatting chronic disease in the caribbean

Healthy Caribbean Coalition - From the HCC President at the 67th World Health Assembly

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HCC President at the 67th World Health AssemblyI am here at the 67th WHA at the invitation of the NCD Alliance and as an official member of the Barbados Delegation with a unique opportunity to take part in and observe this well established important international event from both the perspective of a member state as well as that of a civil society organisation, the HCC. There have been many highlights at the Assembly starting with the Director General’s announcement that she has established a high-level Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. One of the highlights of the second day of the assembly was the specially invited guest appearance at the assembly by Melinda Gates. Mrs. Gates spoke with deep conviction and gave her commitment on child and maternal health issues. In this session, held in the large Assembly Hall where there was “standing room only”, the Dr Christine Mwelwa Kaseba-Sata, the First Lady of Zambia, preceded Mrs Gates, by giving a very powerful, impassioned, and impactful special presentation on the abuse of women.

From the perspective of civil society and NCDs, much has happened at this Assembly including a major side event driven by the NCD Alliance at which Sir George Alleyne played a lead role in discussing progress being made to NCD countdown 2025. I took part yesterday in a Side Event arranged by the NCD Alliance, as a panellist, together with the Director General of WHO; the Minister of Health of Samoa; Minister of Health of Malaysia; the Director General of New Zealand Ministry of Health; Sir Peter Gluckman, Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand; and Mr Tony Duncan, President Asia Pacific Heart Network at which we discussed the NCD Challenge in the post -2015 development agenda: the life course approach. My contribution to the event, focussed on the NCD Regional Status Report and the NCD Commissions, in which I shared the importance and role of civil society in contributing to the multi-sector response to NCDs.

Considerations about NCDs will be significantly discussed today at the official assembly committee and plenary meetings and many important decisions will be taken.

I’ll share some of these and other observations from the beautiful city of Geneva in a follow up post at the conclusion of the Assembly on Saturday.