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Officials At 65th World Health Assembly Adopt Resolutions On Broad Range Of Health Issues

“The 65th World Health Assembly concluded Saturday after adopting 21 resolutions and three decisions on a broad range of health issues,” a WHO press release reports (5/26). “Several resolutions were adopted, … including on non-communicable diseases, counterfeit health supplies, and the World Health Organization’s role during emergencies,” Devex writes (Ravelo, 5/28). “It is the first time that countries will set a concrete global goal for reducing premature deaths from cardiovascular and lung diseases, diabetes, and cancer,” the Associated Press/Washington Post notes, adding that the member states agreed to cut deaths from the four diseases by one-quarter by 2025 (5/25). “In the WHO text, its 194 member states voice ‘strong support for additional work aimed at reaching consensus on targets relating to the four main risk factors, namely tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity,'” Reuters writes (Nebehay, 5/25).

However, according to BMJ, “leaders failed to set any targets or goals for tackling the diseases, which cause 63 percent of the world’s deaths, four-fifths of which are in low- and middle-income countries” (Gulland, 5/28). “The global health agency says countries will next work on specific recommendations for reducing salt and sugar intake, smoking, and promoting physical activity at a meeting in October,” the AP writes (5/25). Another resolution calls on member countries “to hold talks later this year on an expert group’s recommendations that a globally binding convention is needed to address neglected tropical diseases (NTD), tuberculosis, and others currently overlooked by the research industry,” Agence France-Presse reports (5/27). Leaders at the meeting also “endorsed the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), a roadmap to prevent millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to vaccines for people in all communities,” the WHO writes on its website (5/28).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.