Minister of Health, Wellness, Social Transformation and the Environment Sir Molwyn Joseph is in Geneva, Switzerland for the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) which began on 21 May and ends on 30 May 2023.
This year’s theme for WHA, “WHO at 75: Saving lives, driving health for all” is consistent with the function of the WHO – promoting health, ensuring that everyone everywhere has access to quality essential health services and protecting people from health emergencies.
Sir Molwyn Joseph in his role as Vice President of the 30th Pan American Sanitary Conference of the Pan American Health Organization, 74th Session of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Americas, presided at the Heads of Delegations Meeting this morning.
During his remarks, Sir Molwyn noted that the COVID-19 pandemic bought to the fore the urgent need for investment in health systems that are resilient and based on primary health care as this is the most effective way to overcome inequities, build resilience and to be better able to prevent, prepare for and respond to emerging public health threats. He believes that having experienced this pandemic, the Region of the Americas emerged stronger and with a renewed/reaffirmed commitment to solidarity and Pan-Americanism.
Minister Joseph is expected to meet with Dr Jarbas Barbosa, Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) to discuss health priorities for Antigua and Barbuda and how PAHO can give support.
Ahead of the WHA, Commonwealth Ministers of Health met with Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland, for discussions on lessons learnt from COVID-19 pandemic in relation to Health System Resilience, Health Security and Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Health Ministers also had the opportunity to share progress on UHC and challenges and priorities to accelerate UHC goals.
Accompanying Sir Molwyn at the 76th WHA is Chief Medical Officer (Ag) Dr. Teri-Ann Joseph.