To achieve this, “wealthier countries and international financial institutions must support developing countries to make these crucial investments,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
In a keynote speech at the World Health Summit in Berlin, via video message, he began by noting how ill-prepared most of the world is for crises. The annual meeting is being hosted by the presidents of Germany, France and Senegal, along with WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
“Women have been among the hardest hit. They are carrying a greater burden of care, in families and as frontline workers,” she said. But at the same time, many women have lost income due to job loss and inadequate safety nets.
He said that COVID and now the food, energy and financial shocks stemming from the Russian invasion of Ukraine threaten the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and poverty reduction efforts.
To advance the SDGs, “we must recalibrate multilateralism and strengthen global cooperation,” he added.
Failing the developing world
Too little is being invested in health and wellness and the “unbalanced global financial system is failing the developing world,” he declared.
“This must change. All people need inclusive, fair and equitable access to health services to provide universal health coverage”, including neglected mental health services.
Combined, good health is the foundation for peaceful and stable societies, he said.
Paradigm shift away from ‘sick care’: Tedros
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, WHO chief Tedros said that to meet the theme of “taking global health to a new level” in the coming year, this translated into three key priorities.
First of all, the new agreement on the pandemic that is being negotiated between the countries and for the countries was key so that the world can really come together in the face of new pandemics on a par with COVID-19.
“It will not give the WHO any power to do anything without the express permission of sovereign nation states,” he said.
Second, a new “global architecture” “that is coherent and inclusive” is needed. The fractured COVID response made it clear that new and better tools are needed to shore it all up.
Third, a new global approach must be adopted that prioritizes health promotion and disease prevention, not just treating the sick. Too many health systems “don’t provide health care, they provide health care,” he said.
Health care should no longer be about just one ministry or sector, but “the whole of government and the whole of society.”
He lacks family in the new role of Goodwill Ambassador
In another development on Sunday, WHO chief Tedros announced the appointment of the Lacks family as WHO Goodwill Ambassadors for the Elimination of Cervical Cancer.
Henrietta Lacks, an impoverished African-American woman, died in 1951 from the disease, but left an extraordinary legacy through the unique properties of her cancer cells, which became the first “immortal” cell line capable of replicating outside the body. providing countless medical advances ever since.
The so-called HeLa cells were removed from her without her knowledge or consent: “Much like the injustice of the Henrietta Lacks story, women from racial and ethnic minority groups around the world face disproportionately higher risks of cervical cancer,” Tedros said. .
cervical cancer removal
“The goal of the WHO is to eliminate cervical cancer, which means that the innovations created”, with its cells, “must be available equitably to all women and girls. We look forward to working with the Lacks family to raise awareness of cervical cancer and promote racial equity in health and science.”
Speaking at a ceremony during the World Health Summit, Alfred Lacks Carter Jr. said the family was accepting the honor of serving as Goodwill Ambassadors, “in the spirit of my mother, Deborah Lacks, who lost her mother, Henrietta, for cervical cancer, and worked to make sure the world recognizes her impact.”