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70th World Health Assembly (WHA) kicks off in Geneva-based UN headquarters

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FILE - The United Nations headquarters building is pictured though a window with the UN logo in the foreground. VOA
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Geneva, May 23, 2017: The 70th World Health Assembly (WHA), the main decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), opened at Geneva-based UN headquarters.

“Our joint work at the global level aims for the central objective of promoting health through the life course, as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the very highest political level in 2015,” said WHA’s newly-elected President Veronika Skvortsova on Monday.

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“The achievement of this central objective necessitates the creation of an integrated health-preserving environment that amalgamates all national, regional and global mechanisms in the public, intersectoral and official spheres, professional medical bodies, patients’ associations and the business community,” Xinhua quoted her as saying.

This year’s assembly will determine policies on a range of health issues, including medicines and health products, non-communicable diseases, health emergencies, as well as maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health.

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 A new WHO Director-General will also be elected as incumbent head Margaret Chan’s mandate comes to an end.

In her final opening address to the assembly as Director-General, Chan called on the assembly to make “reducing inequalities” a guiding ethical principle.

“WHO stands for fairness,” she said, adding that countries should also work to improve collection of health data and make health strategies more accountable.

Chan stressed the importance of continued innovation, noting that “meeting the ambitious targets in the Sustainable Development Goals depends on innovation.”

The assembly will last until May 31. (IANS)

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WHO Calls Emergency Meeting On Congo’s Ebola

Congo's health ministry says there are now 179 confirmed cases, including 104 deaths.

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Ebola, WHO
In this photo taken Sept 9, 2018, a health worker sprays disinfectant on his colleague after working at an Ebola treatment center in Beni, DRC. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is convening a meeting on Wednesday to determine whether Congo’s latest Ebola outbreak constitutes a public health emergency of international concern.

Aid organizations have expressed alarm as the rate of new cases has more than doubled this month and community resistance to Ebola containment efforts in some cases has turned violent.

Ebola, UNICEF. congo, DNA, WHO
Photo taken Sept 9, 2018, shows health workers walking with a boy suspected of having the Ebola virus at an Ebola treatment centre in Beni, Eastern Congo. VOA

This is Congo’s tenth Ebola outbreak but this is the first time the deadly virus has appeared in the far northeast, an area of active rebel attacks that health workers have compared to a war zone.

WHO recently said the risk of regional spread was “very high” as confirmed cases were reported close to the heavily traveled border with Uganda.

Also Read: Video- Congo Gets New Medical Tools To Contain Ebola

Congo’s health ministry says there are now 179 confirmed cases, including 104 deaths. (VOA)

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