World Health Assembly to welcome as many as 3,000 participants

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Ministers, experts, and other delegates to discuss Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), GAVI progress, non-communicable diseases, Millennium Development Goals, and other issues

World Health Assembly

As the official decision-making body for WHO, the World Health Assembly (WHA) brings ministers, experts, and other delegates from around the world to discuss the most pressing issues in global health.

Organisers say they expect as many as 3,000 participants for this year’s WHA which runs from Monday 21 May to Saturday 26 May. The 65th WHA is expected to feature finalisation of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP), an update from GAVI’s CEO Dr Seth Berkley on GAVI progress, and discussions on non-communicable disease, polio eradication, and monitoring the Millennium Development Goals.

The GVAP is an implementation plan that combines existing plans and strategies on immunisation, including the Decade of Vaccines, into a single mammoth vision. An estimated 19 million children miss out on routine immunisation every year and vaccine preventable diseases kill 1.5 million.

The GVAP’s goals include: polio eradication; the elimination of measles, neo-natal tetanus, and rubella; increased immunisation coverage; new vaccine technologies; and accelerated reductions in child mortality.

On Wednesday afternoon at 17:45, Dr Berkley will update health ministers and other stakeholders on GAVI’s programme and policies, nearly one year after donors pledged an extra US$ 4.3 billion for immunisation. Dr Berkley will describe country introductions of the pneumococcal, rotavirus, and other vaccines, highlight new GAVI support for the HPV and combined measles-rubella vaccines, and discuss an approach more tailored to country-specific needs.

Non-communicable diseases have extra relevance for GAVI, which now supports two anti-cancer vaccines (hepatitis B within the pentavalent vaccine and the HPV) and polio eradication efforts have enormous consequences for the world.

GAVI’s website will provide coverage of the WHA on these and other issues plus interviews with WHA delegates too.

You can follow GAVI coverage by visiting our website or by following us on Twitter @GAVIAlliance.

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