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About the world health assembly


By: Diana González-Bravo
MD, Epidemiologist
MBE researcher

The World Health Assembly is the supreme decision-making body of the World Health Organization. This week (May 22 to 31) the 71st version of this important meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting venue is always the same, one version is held per year and it brings together delegations from the 193 Member States of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The main function of the Health Assembly is, among others, to determine the health organization policies of the member states, appoint the General Director of the Assembly, supervise financial policies, and review and adopt the budget program proposed by the WHO.

Here you can find out the content of this year's assembly:



The priority topics to be discussed at this meeting are the following:

  • Physical activity for health
  • Application of the International Health Regulations
  • Global burden of snakebites
  • Preliminary assessment of the WHO global coordination mechanism on the prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases
  • The global shortage of medicines and vaccines and access to them
  • mSalud (mobile health)
  • Public health preparedness and response
  • Health, environment and climate change
  • Use of appropriate digital technologies in public health


There will be 6 meeting days, in which discussions will be held on key issues and decisions will be made to control, treat and improve access to health for people with communicable and non-communicable diseases. Interestingly, can be accessed live or in recorded sessions, the content of the plenary sessions held in the assembly, allowing remote access to the conference and facilitating understanding and monitoring of the topics discussed in it.

Follow the live broadcast or access the recorded plenary sessions here:



Within these discussion topics, the General Program of Work will be discussed, which is WHO's five-year strategic plan to help countries achieve the health goals of the sustainable development goals. This program is the result of 12 months of discussions with countries, experts and partners, and focuses on the objectives of the “three thousand millions":

  • Universal health coverage for 1 billion more people
  • Better protection against health emergencies for 1 billion more
  • Better Health & Wellness for 1 billion more
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