Throughout the coming months, the World Heart Federation will be sending representatives to the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee Meetings, which are held to determine regional health policy and to approve programmes of work for each of the 6 WHO regions.
Taking place annually from August – October, each meeting is guided by a specific agenda addressing pressing health issues in that region.
Civil society organizations attending the meetings – such as WHF – are able to submit and deliver policy statements on relevant topics. The Regional Meetings also gather important health actors and decision-makers of one Region together at a time, presenting valuable opportunities to advocate for better heart health.
A hot topic at the Regional Meetings this year will be the upcoming Third UN High-level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), which will be held in 2018. With many countries falling behind on their NCD-related targets, UN HLM 2018 offers civil society a unique chance to put pressure on governments to take urgent action.
The World Heart Federation will additionally be calling on countries in all regions to support the recently recommended Draft Resolution on ‘Rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease’. This Resolution, due to be debated at the World Health Assembly in 2018, represents the first time that RHD has been recognized as a public health priority on the world stage: however the WHF will continue to advocate to countries to make concrete commitments to tackle RHD.
The World Heart Federation will also make policy statements on diverse issues such as access to essential medicines, women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health, and the links between health and the environment.
You can receive more updates about WHF’s activities at this year’s WHO Regional Meetings via Twitter, updates on the WHF website, and via Members’ News. You can also read updates on our work on rheumatic heart disease on the RHD Action Website.