130th meeting of the WHO Executive Board

IMG 0727The recently held 130th meeting of the WHO Executive Board (EB) took place from 16-23 January in Geneva, Switzerland. The General Assembly of delegates, led by Director General, Dr. Margaret Chan reconfirmed the commitment of the WHO to address the issue of communicable and non-communicable diseases. As Dr. Chan stated in her report to the assembled delegates "The world is in bad shape". The events of the past year such as extreme weather events, food starvation, economic misery to the middle class, the continued effects of the world recession in countries needing to provide necessary services for its people, and the aftermath of the April spring all contribute to increase demands on member countries to provide health services to their people at ever increasing costs. These costs have increased not decreased.

Through efforts in public health successes can be achieved, but these will not be realized until governmental officials, public health officials, health care officials, and economic officials can collectively come together to agree on establishing effective policies. Money does not guarantee success but adequate and proper health care policies can. It's public health now and in the future. As one of the NGOs recognized by WHO, IFBLS, along with its sister NGOs agreed to support the action of the WHO Executive Board to address the pressing problem of attacks on health care, in particular, attacks on health care personnel, during situations of conflict and also during times of humanitarian need. A recent report "Health Care in Danger" prepared and released in August 2011 by the International Committee of the Red Cross, identified violence, both real and threatened, in particular, against health care workers and the facilities where these professionals work, remains one of the biggest and most complex and under represented humanitarian issues today. IFBLS fully supports the efforts of the EB and WHO to do what is necessary to reduce the magnitude and dynamics of violence targeted to diminish the delivery of health care and specifically targeting health care workers. Finally, IFBLS appreciates the recognition by the EB that workforce issues within various sectors of the health care arena can and will have consequences on the delivery and maintenance of quality health care to individuals living in member states.