(Press Release - May 19, 2009) WHA 2009: PHM statements on key health issues

WHA 2009: PHM statements on key health issues - May 19, 2009

On recession and impact on health:

  1. “Declare Global economic downturn a health disaster!”.
  2. Economic Recession is a threat to the world’s health
  3. The PHM demands immediate measures by the international community and individual governments:

  • To ensure adequate resources to revitalise public health systems. Pay urgent attention to the needs of the poor rather than the revival of failed big commercial banks.
  • To allocate funds for the restoration of jobs and livelihood opportunities in low income communities.
  • To strengthen social welfare programs in developing countries and for homeless and unemployed people in developed countries, and not to use the economic crisis downturn as an excuse to cut funds of welfare related programmes.

On ‘swine flu’ and pandemics:

The PHM demands a more long term and holistic approach to the problem of emerging infections and possible pandemics. Among the urgent measures that need to be taken are:

  1. Strengthen public health systems to tackle effectively the current crisis posed by the threat of an influenza ‘pandemic’ and future pandemics and other emerging diseases.
  2. Regulate the global corporate controlled livestock industry to promote safe practices and safeguard health over corporate profits.
  3. Ensure enhanced co-ordinated global responses to the threat posed by epidemics, including collaborative efforts to develop and make available medicines and vaccines, access to which are not constrained by IP owned by MNCs.

On WHO resolutions on Primary Health Care and Social Determinants of Health:

  1. The PHM calls upon the World Health Assembly to adopt the final recommendations of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health immediately.
  2. The PHM calls upon the Director General of WHO to
  • promote the role of the WHO as the principal coordinating body for global health actions, while cooperating with other international organizations, especially those within the UN system.
  • Stop promoting vertical disease-specific programs as experience worldwide shows that such vertical approaches to health care has failed and is not cost effective. It is imperative that the renewal of comprehensive primary health care approaches is essential not only to achieve the MDGs but also health for all.

     3. The PHM urges the member states to

  • Examine and reformulate their health policies to ensure that that they are based on the principles of human rights.
  • Renew commitment to primary health care and invest in public health systems.
  • Adopt the recommendations in the report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health and ensure adequate resource allocations to implement its recommendations.

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