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World Health Assembly resumes

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Health minister Mam Bun Heng joined the World Health Assembly via video conference. Health Ministry

World Health Assembly resumes

The 73rd World Health Assembly, which was postponed in May, resumed virtually on November 9 with Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng in attendance.

A World Health Assembly press release said the meeting, which will end on November 14, will first examine global health issues, primary health care, the fight against non-communicable and contagious diseases and Covid-19 vaccines.

Preventing blindness, improving maternity care, developing medical expertise and implementing child and baby nutrition programmes will also be discussed.

According to Bun Heng, the assembly will be able to approve resolutions regarding Covid-19 responses, an elimination strategy for cervical cancer by 2030 and a global strategy for tuberculosis research and innovation.

The assembly is also expected to approve eye health resolutions, strengthen efforts on food safety and make progress on the Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020-2030) – a programme geared towards improving the lives of older people.

“This meeting will be able to approve resolutions regarding influenza preparedness, World Health Organisation (WHO) reform, the global strategy on public health, innovation and intellectual property,” Bun Heng said.

He said as a member of ASEAN and WHO, Cambodia had shown support for various resolutions proposed at the forum.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the assembly on November 9 that the world should “choose health” and ensure the sustainable funding for WHO.

“This pandemic has also taken a toll in ways that no one can measure. We can’t measure the grief of families who weren’t able to say goodbye to their loved ones. We can’t measure the fear felt by so many in the face of an uncertain future.

“Today and every day, we must choose health. We’re one big family,” he said.

Almost 50 million cases of Covid-19 have now been reported to WHO, and more than 1.2 million people have lost their lives. Millions more have died due to the disruption of essential health services, according to WHO.

The World Health Assembly is held every year in Geneva. Envoys from nearly 200 member countries have joined the 73rd assembly.

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