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76th World Health Assembly

Focus: GS II: International Relations

Why in News?

Recently, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare delivered the keynote address at a side event session on “Heal in India & Heal by India” at the 76th World Health Assembly, in Geneva.

About the Event:

  • The event revolves around two initiatives: “Heal by India” and “Heal in India.”
  • The objective of the “Heal by India” initiative is to promote the mobility of healthcare professionals from India to various parts of the world. The aim is to serve the global community based on the Indian philosophy of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (The World is One Family).
  • The “Heal in India” initiative focuses on providing integrated and holistic treatment to people worldwide within India. The goal is to enhance patient mobility, allowing individuals to access world-class, affordable, and high-quality healthcare services in India.
  • These initiatives aim to promote global healthcare collaboration, improve healthcare access, and leverage India’s strengths in providing medical expertise and services. By fostering international cooperation and patient mobility, the event seeks to contribute to the well-being of individuals around the world and promote India as a leading destination for healthcare.

World Health Organization (WHO)

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • Its main objective is ensuring “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.”
  • The WHO’s broad mandate includes advocating for universal healthcare, monitoring public health risks, coordinating responses to health emergencies, and promoting human health and well-being.
  • The World Health Assembly (WHA), composed of representatives from all 194 member states, serves as the agency’s supreme decision-making body.

World Health Assembly (WHA)

  • The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of WHO.
  • It is attended by delegations from all WHO Member States and focuses on a specific health agenda prepared by the Executive Board.
  • The Health Assembly is held annually in Geneva, Switzerland (sometimes in special sessions).
The main functions of the World Health Assembly are:
  • To determine the policies of the Organization
  • Appoint the Director-General
  • Supervise financial policies
  • Review and approve the proposed programme budget.
  • Reporting to the Economic and Social Council in accordance with any agreement between the Organization and the United Nations.

The Health Assembly is composed of delegates representing Member States.

  • Each Member State is represented by not more than three delegates, one of whom is designated by the Member as chief delegate.
  • These delegates are chosen from among persons most qualified by their technical competence in the field of health, preferably representing the national health administration of the Member.

March 2024