WHA makes progress on health care workers, polio

June 2010 | Volume 9, Issue 3

International health care worker recruitment, polio eradication and infectious disease surveillance were some of the issues emphasized by the U.S. delegation during the recent 2010 World Health Assembly in Geneva.

“We laid the foundation for continuing global progress in areas from expanding access to health care to reducing health disparities, responding to pandemics such as H1N1, preventing and treating non-communicable diseases and reducing the marketing of unhealthy food and non-alcoholic beverages to children,” according to Dr. Nils Daulaire, HHS director of global health affairs and U.S. delegation lead.

Daulaire was also encouraged that the Assembly adopted voluntary guidelines for the international recruitment of health care workers. “We recognize the critical shortage of trained health professionals in the world's poorest countries and neediest communities and are committed to addressing that need through a wide range of efforts,” he said.

While in Geneva, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to discuss ways to improve maternal and child health and to eradicate polio.

In addition, the Secretary signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s health minister to strengthen cooperation in disease surveillance, health promotion and biomedical research.

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