PATH joins world leaders in defining global health and development priorities at 70th World Health Assembly

May 18, 2017 by PATH

Next week in Geneva, PATH will join global health leaders from World Health Organization (WHO) Member State delegations around the world to participate in the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA). The WHA plays a critical role in determining WHO priorities, supervises financial policies, and reviews and approves the proposed program budget.

"The world is currently facing several significant global health challenges, including a recent outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, so ensuring strong WHO leadership and effective actions on emerging threats is vital," said Carolyn Reynolds, PATH vice president of Policy and Advocacy. "With 40 years of experience helping advance many of the most important global health research and policy issues, PATH looks forward to contributing our perspectives to help shape the global response to issues like infectious disease outbreaks and access to lifesaving technologies for the world's most vulnerable people."

PATH leaders are slated to deliver remarks at Assembly Committee meetings and to lend their expertise to several events on the formal agenda, as well as key side events covering issues including research and development, global health security, noncommunicable diseases, access to essential medicines and health technologies, and planning for polio eradication.

Key events where you will find PATH leaders include:

Assembly Committee Meetings

These meetings will cover important global health topics, including the Global Vaccine Action Plan, which is focused on preventing millions of deaths by 2020 through more equitable access to existing vaccines for people in all communities, the future of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), research and development (R&D) for potentially epidemic diseases, funding and coordination for global health research and development, and access to medicines. PATH, alongside the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC)—PATH houses the Coalition secretariat—will deliver statements on the floor of WHA Committee A meetings on a number of agenda items.

May 21

Global Health Security Agenda Steering Group Meeting

The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) is a growing partnership of over 50 nations, international organizations, and non-governmental (NGO) stakeholders that is building countries' capacity to help elevate global health security as a national and global priority. PATH leverages its deep country experience and partnerships to accelerate progress of the GHSA by improving disease surveillance systems, enhancing local laboratory capacity for diagnosis, and strengthening local information systems. Carolyn Reynolds will participate in a panel discussion about the path forward for GHSA collaboration with different NGO stakeholders. Discussion topics will include how to match NGO activities with GHSA targets and objectives, how to use the information from country assessments to guide GHSA activities and resources, and how to coordinate different donors' support and activities.

May 22

Access for All Needs Action by All: Exploring Solutions for Multi-Sectoral Action to Improve Availability and Affordability of Essential Medicines and Technologies for Noncommunicable Diseases

Evidence shows that essential medicines and technologies to treat noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) are inconsistently defined and often unavailable to those who need them in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). PATH is at the forefront of the fight against NCDs, with efforts focused on diabetes, hypertension, and breast and cervical cancers. PATH's NCDs program leader, Helen McGuire, will join a diverse expert roundtable in this event, convened and co-hosted by PATH and NCD Alliance, to establish a multi-sectoral approach aimed at catalyzing sustainable improvements to increase the availability of affordable essential NCD medicines and technologies.

Investing in Innovative Health Research and Development Tools to Address Antimicrobial Resistance and Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

PATH, GHTC, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), the Council on Health Research and Development (COHRED), TB Alliance, and the Global Health Council (GHC) will host a formal side event highlighting the importance of global health R&D to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Issues to be covered include:

  • How governments, the private sector, and civil society can work together to develop and scale innovative health technologies to address and prevent poverty-related and neglected disease and AMR.
  • Why low- and middle-income countries must mobilizie domestic resources to develop sustainable, long term funding for global health innovation.
  • Ways to galvanize support from G20 countries to include health R&D in the global political agenda.

For more information or to register, visit the event site.

African Ministerial Dialogue: A Call for Government Leadership in Digital Health

Digital health initiatives help to identify health issues and aid in the development and implementation of tools to address them, while empowering local communities. PATH is a leader in the development of digital health technologies powered by user-driven, context-appropriate design. Jointly hosted by the Honorable Ministers of Health from Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda, as well as PATH, the Novartis Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this event will provide an opportunity to discuss the critical role that government leaders play in developing, budgeting, and implementing national digital health strategies. During this event, government leaders will make pledges of leadership and support for strengthening digital health in their countries. PATH CEO, Steve Davis, will be among those delivering remarks.

May 23

Women and Non-Communicable Diseases: Fostering an Integrated Health Agenda

Non-communicable diseases are now responsible for two in every three deaths among women each year, a burden that is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades, especially in LMICs. Yet, research and innovation has largely failed to recognize the need for gender-specific treatments. The World Economic Forum and Women Deliver are hosting a breakfast meeting bringing together leaders from the public and private sector to address the policy and business models required to deliver an integrated health agenda for women. PATH CEO, Steve Davis, will participate on a panel on how a gender-based approach can strengthen the delivery of better health outcomes for women.

Corporate Engagement in Global Digital Health: A Shared Value Approach

Digital technology innovations can create effective solutions across the global health value chain, including improving supply chain efficiencies, advancing health care worker training, enhancing individual medical records, and supporting behavior change. There is an opportunity for corporations to work together to help overcome the barriers preventing these solutions. Hosted by PATH and FSG, with support from Novartis, and led by PATH director of the Digital Health Initiative, Lesley-Anne Long, and FSG managing director, Kirsten Gagnaire, this action-oriented session brings together private-sector organizations and key stakeholders in the digital health space. The meeting is designed to elicit a deeper understanding of the barriers corporations face in engaging with traditional global health stakeholders, and will identify concrete steps to help link corporate sector players with many of the stakeholders in the global digital health ecosystem.

Effective Strategies and Sustainable Projects to Improve Access to Noncommunicable Disease Treatment and Care

NCDs are one of the major challenges for sustainable development today, claiming approximately 38 million lives per year worldwide. Immediate actions to reduce the burden caused by NCDs include reducing exposure to the main risk factors and improving health systems to better respond to NCDs, but progress at the national level is still patchy and uneven. During this closed, informal dialogue hosted by Sanofi and NCD Alliance, participants will discuss key access barriers to NCD treatment and care, partnership opportunities at the country level, coordination at country level, and the value of engagement. Helen McGuire will provide remarks on leveraging lessons learned to develop effective strategies and sustainable programs.

May 24

Investing in Research and Development from Antimicrobial Resistance to Zika: Laying the Foundation for Sustainable Development

Over the past two decades, investments in global health R&D have produced game-changing technologies to tackle some of the world's most critical health challenges. Despite these successes, health innovation has been sidelined in the global debate on ending poverty. Progress against existing threats, such as AMR, and new public health challenges, such as Zika, is not possible using current technologies alone. Investment in the development of new vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, and other health tools is essential to achieving the SDGs, and can be a driver of economic growth. Together, PATH, GHTC, MMV, COHRED, TB Alliance, and GHC will present a dynamic conversation about the opportunities and challenges around global health R&D in disrupting the cycle of poverty and poor health. For more information or to register, visit the event site.

Driving Sustainable Development Goals Progress on Health: Learning Cycles Toward Noncommunicable Disease Care for all

Reducing morbidity and mortality from NCDs is critical to reaching the goals and targets of the SDGs and WHO's Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of NCDs. Yet, many people around the world face multiple barriers to accessing the care they need to manage their condition. Overcoming these barriers is a tall order with no clear-cut solutions. In recent years, many public-private partnerships have been initiated to address the challenges of sustainable NCD care in LMICs, and they present great opportunities for learning. This PATH co-hosted event will feature Helen McGuire as part of a panel of experts from government, NGO, civil society and the private sector. Participants will share lessons learned and discuss how the evidence generated can inform improved interventions going forward. For more information or to register, visit the event site.

May 25

WHO Global Coordinating Mechanism Breakfast

The WHO Global Coordinating Mechanism (GCM) on NCDs facilitates and enhances coordination across sectors and local, regional, and national levels to implement the WHO Global NCD Action Plan 2013–2020. Helen McGuire will participate in a panel discussion about the lessons learned from the GCM's past success, and strategies to ensure its efficacy going forward, alongside representatives from several member states, World Economic Forum, NCD Alliance, and others. For more information, see the official announcement.

Posted May 18, 2017.