World health leaders want WHO funding model to be improved

Increased and sustainable health financing for the World Health Organization (WHO) is an important tool needed if the world is to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG) by 2030. Goal 3 stands for “good health and well-being”, and is one of the key elements among the 17 SDGs. The consensus was reached at a strategic round table during the second day of the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) currently being held in Geneva, Switzerland. The session, which is thematic; “Healthy Return: Investing in a Sustainable Financing WHO” aims to address the issue of investing in the World Health Organization (WHO), a health body that plays a unique role in global health affairs. WHO supports member states in taking action on health issues through leadership, technical product development and support to countries. Namibian Minister of Health and Social Services Kalumbi Shangula, who was one of the panelists, said that the mission of leaders must be to provide integrated, affordable, accessible health and social welfare services of inequitable quality. He said that these respond to the needs of the population. Mr. Shangula said that this is in line with universal health coverage and also with target number 3.8 of the SDGs. He said the WHO has contributed to “strengthening a policy environment to improve the delivery of quality health services to people, including a reduction in the prevalence of infectious diseases.” “It has also helped Namibia deal with disease outbreaks and health emergencies over the years, including polio,” he said. However, he said that increased and sustainable funding is very important, especially with the increase in world population growth. He said that the world will also face the emergence of new diseases, saying that COVID-19 is one of them. “Now that requires increasing the scope of work of the WHO, and indeed, to carry out all these activities well, adequate human resources are needed,” he said. Shangula said that the current funding model for the WHO is not very appropriate. “And so we need to go back to the drawing board to see what we can find that will make the WHO work the way that member states would like it to work,” he said. Invest in WHO New Zealand Health Minister Andrew Little said it is beneficial to invest sustainably in the WHO as a means of strengthening the broader multilateral system, which he noted is a global health priority for New Zealand. “As member states with diverse interests and priorities, we all bring different perspectives on what it means to invest sustainably in the WHO and strengthen the multilateral system,” he said. Mr. Little said that WHO must be adequately and sustainably funded to effectively carry out its responsibilities. “Putting WHO on a more stable financial footing ultimately benefits us all and represents greater ownership for member states.” This means ensuring that the quality and quantity of our investments match WHO’s expectations, he said. He said this will also ensure that the health needs of member states are recognized and addressed in partnership with the WHO secretariat at national, regional and global levels. Mr. Little said that at the country level, a sustainably funded and strengthened WHO provides the technical guidance that supports member states’ national responses to health problems and crises. He said that WHO’s technical processes foster health-to-health cooperation among member states and the sharing of knowledge among them. “This helps develop our respective national toolkits to address emerging health challenges, including, of course, those related to COVID.” He also said that it is vitally important that the WHO is funded to provide health equity and the promotion of health and well-being at the regional and sub-regional levels. flexible financing In her remarks, WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said flexible funding will allow WHO to address the preparedness needs of countries’ health systems. She said: “For flexibility in HIV funding, diabetes is here to screen for a range of conditions, which we don’t do at all in our very weak primary health care systems in the African region. “I think we could achieve huge flexibilities, efficiencies and have a much more integrated way of supporting our health systems in developing countries because I think it’s not just in terms of how WHO organizes us, deploys these resources in a region, that in Regions with enormous and multifaceted challenges like Africa”. He thanked member states for reopening the debate and told the working group that the results will be important for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus said the event is historic, especially for addressing significant changes in health financing. Mr. Ghebreyesus applauded member states for their contributions to bringing about meaningful change in WHO funding. He said the transparency and accountability issues raised will be addressed. In his remarks, Bjorn Kummel, chair of the WHA’s working group on sustainable finance, said the finance challenge has been considered one of the historic challenges for the world body. READ ALSO: WHA75: WHO recounts successes in war against HIV, malaria, other diseases Kummel said one of the starting points the board created the task force for “is this huge discrepancy between what member states expect from the WHO in a crisis like the pandemic and with respect to the SDGs.” He said recommendations will be made to enable the WHO to play the role that everyone expects it to play in practice: to be the well-positioned and well-funded leading and coordinating authority on global health. He said that the recommendation is about substantially increasing the assessed contributions. Assessed contributions are the fees that countries pay to become members of the organization. The amount that each member state must pay is calculated in relation to the country’s wealth and population. “We came to an agreement that we would focus on reaching an aspiration of 50 percent of the base budget, which is pretty much the core mandate of WHO, funded through assessed contributions,” he said. Mr. Kümmel said that this will last for six to eight years, to provide WHO with the core funding it needs to play its role. About WHA The WHA is the highest decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). The main function of the assembly is to determine the policies of the organization, appoint the Director General, supervise financial policies and review and approve the proposed program budget. Annually, delegations from around the world converge to discuss specific health agendas prepared by the executive board. The event, which is also open to associate members, observers, invited representatives of the United Nations and other participating intergovernmental organizations and non-state actors, takes place in Geneva. This is the first physical health assembly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, the event was held virtually to deal with the realities of the pandemic that began in late 2019. The motto of the 2022 health assembly is “Health for peace, peace for health”. The high-level event is scheduled to take place from May 22 to 28, 2022. Read More Related News Here Let here it in the comment below if you do have an opinion on this; World health leaders want WHO funding model to be improved