The President’s Overview, WHA, Geneva, 22 – 26 May, 2017

The President’s Overview, WHA, Geneva, 22 – 26 May, 2017

Attending the WHA meeting in Geneva is always an exciting period in the IFSC calendar. A busy week providing the ultimate global surgery networking platform!

My highlight this year was the election of the new Director-General. Three excellent candidates were in the final running and we were delighted that on 23 May 2017, Member States of WHO elected Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the first African D-G at the WHO and wish him all success when he takes up the reins on 1st July 2017.

IFSC is encouraged that it was agreed at the WHA that Resolution 68.15 will be now be reviewed every 3 years. A Resolution passed is a great achievement; implementation is the icing on the cake! Zambia is the first country to have announced its National Care Plan at the WHA and earlier on 21 April this year Tanzania launched its National Surgical Planning Process. IFSC looks forward to hearing of more success stories in the near future.

During the week I attended the G4 Alliance Permanent Council and Board Meetings held over the weekend prior to the WHA. IFSC is pleased with the progress being undertaken by the G4 Alliance, now comprising over 80+ members worldwide, as Advocacy for the Neglected Surgical Patient moves forward apace.

The G4 Alliance hosted an excellent Global Surgery Advocacy Event on 22 May, in collaboration with the GE Foundation and Safe Surgery 2020: “From Commitment to Action: Partnerships to Strengthen Surgical and Anaesthesia Care for All“, which convened members of civil society and country representatives to highlight partnerships between NGOs, private sector and government that are supporting progress towards WHA Resolution 68.15 on emergency and essential surgical and anaesthesia care.

It was great to attend the Lifebox meeting held on Wednesday 24th jointly hosted with their co-founders the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists (WFSA). This excellent panel event explored the contribution of civil society in support of Resolution 68.15.

IFSC appreciated the support given for Global Surgery by the UK delegation on behalf of Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, UK. It was great see representatives at the WHO Official Side Event on Friday 26th May.

I was able to deliver two statements during the week. The first at a Technical and Programme Meeting (Global Surgery Workshop) held on Thursday 25 May 2017, “Delivering Emergency and Essential Surgery”. The second, at the Official High Level Health Policy Surgical Side Event, Friday 26 May 2017. You may read these here:

Thurs 25 May 2017. Statement on Contribution made by IFSC to WHO. RHS Lane.

IFSC Statement. WHA Side Event. Friday 26 May. 2017