The World Heart Federation (WHF) proudly represented the global cardiovascular community at the 152nd session of the World Health Organization (WHO) Executive Board from 30 January to 07 February in Geneva.
Led by Diana Vaca McGhie, Chair of its Advocacy Committee, the WHF delegation delivered two constituency statements on Preparedness for and Response to Health Emergencies and Universal Health Coverage on behalf of the Global Coalition for Circulatory Health. In particular, the GCCH requested Member States to:
- Prioritize people living with circulatory conditions in national pandemic response and recovery plans through patient co-creation;
- Increase domestic allocation of resources and develop targeted policies to address cardiovascular disease and NCD risk factors through fiscal policies;
- Strengthen Primary Health Care to ensure equitable and continuous access to essential health services for people living with NCDs, including cardiovascular disease;
- Ensure adequate and sustained financing for, and availability of, circulatory health services in the context of national Universal Health Coverage strategies while incorporating digital innovations in circulatory health;
- Integrate cost-effective circulatory health interventions into national UHC packages of essential interventions to be delivered at primary health care level, drawing on examples from Appendix 3 of the WHO Global NCD Action Plan and the HEARTS Technical Package.
WHF also delivered a series of individual statements on heart-related items such as the WHO Best Buys, Substandard and Falsified Medicines, Cardiac Rehabilitation, Well-Being, and Social Determinants of Health.
Following the debates, the WHO Executive Board decided to recommend a number of resolutions for adoption at the Seventy-Sixth World Health Assembly, including texts on Universal Health Coverage, Strengthening Diagnostics Capacity, and Strengthening Rehabilitation in Health Systems. In particular, the WHO resolution on diagnostics acknowledges the importance of medical devices for the diagnosis of cardiovascular conditions.
Lastly, the Executive Board also recommended that the 76th Health Assembly endorses the draft Updated Menu of Policy Options and Cost-Effective Interventions, which includes an extensive list of interventions for the management of cardiovascular disease, as set out in the latest version of Appendix 3 of the Global NCD Action Plan.
The World Heart Federation will be speaking for its Members as well as the wider cardiovascular community, once again, at the upcoming World Health Assembly on 21-30 May 2023.