Universal Health Coverage/Ebola: World Health Assembly

Two new cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) by Government scientists there, prompting the UN health agency to immediately scale up its response. UN health agency to immediately scale up its response to DRC Ebola Outbreak.

 71st World Health Assembly Starts Today, Through May 26

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of World Health Organization.  The Assembly is conducted each year to determine the policies of WHO, supervise financial policies, and review and approve proposed programme budgets.

In his opening address to the Assembly, UN Secretary General António Guterres’ (see video below) stressed, “Universal health coverage provides the foundation to help us overcome the inequities that continue to leave so many behind.”

This year Feminine Perspective adduces three priorities:

  1. A realistic programme for gaining member’s political support for ending HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis;
  2. Greater involvement of Civil Society; and
  3. Pervasive commitment to gender equality in WHO leadership, a goal  which the current Director General apparently supports heartily.

The World Health Organization’s Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus  addressed the 71st World Health Assembly today, stressing the importance of universal health coverage.

Tedros raised the example of need in the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The opening day of the Assembly was strongly focussed on this concern.

Congolese health workers check the temperature of passengers disembarking from a Congo Airways plane in Mbandaka, Democratic Republic of Congo. REUTERS/Kenny Katombe

Seeking stronger political commitment to global health goals Tedros said, “It’s clear that the twin messages of health security and universal health coverage resonate loudly with world leaders”.

“The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being.” Founding mantra of the World Health Organization.


American Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is scheduled to  attend tomorrow as the head of U.S. delegation. America is planning to provide several million dollars to support the global response to the DRC Ebola outbreak, according to The Washington Post.