World Health Assembly 2024: Shaping the Future of Global Health 


07 June 2024


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People across the globe now live 6.2 years longer than they did in 1990. 

Life expectancy has improved with fewer people dying from heart disease; however, the quality of life for many has not. Critical vulnerabilities in healthcare systems, rising mental health concerns, the burden of substance use disorder (SUD), and the growing prevalence of infectious and foodborne diseases are among the culprits.

When we consider health service disruptions from climate change and international conflict, the situation becomes more grave.

But this is what the World Health Assembly (WHA) is all about—an effort to address and resolve these issues. 

Join the Islamic Medical Association of North America (IMANA) as we explain how this forum impacts the future of public health and how our organization is striving to improve healthcare.

What Is the World Health Assembly?

The World Health Assembly is the decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The intergovernmental organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland where the meeting takes place annually. 

Now in its 77th session, decision-makers from 194 member states came together with partner agencies, representatives of civil society, and WHO experts to deliberate on the theme “All for Health, Health for All.”

Beyond developing policies that tackle challenges crippling health systems and affecting the quality of services, the ministers of health voted and appointed the Director-General. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus currently holds the position. He was re-elected for a second term and currently occupies the leadership position.

Issues in Focus

Held from May 27 to June 1, the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA77) allowed ministers to address a wide range of relevant issues such as:

  • The prevention of sexual exploitation, abuse, and harassment
  • Preparing for better maternal and reproductive health outcomes
  • Increasing access to universal health coverage and immunization
  • Calling for greater support regarding mental health and psychosocial well-being
  • Encouraging faster responses to anti-microbial and drug-resistant infections
  • Defeating malaria, which kills about half a million children every year

The World Health Assembly also unanimously passed a resolution on climate change. However, it did not call for the phasing out of fossil fuels which is responsible for 5.13 million deaths annually

Importance of WHA 

From the relentless bombardment in the Gaza Strip to conflict over power in Sudan, the World Health Assembly 2024 took place against a backdrop of unimaginable humanitarian crises. People in conflict-ridden areas face diminishing chances of survival with each passing day. 

Decision-makers at the WHA77 spent hours debating the unbearable human tragedy in the Gaza Strip where at least 34,183 people have been killed and 77,084 have been wounded (Gaza Ministry of Health).

They voted on two measures:

  • Slamming “indiscriminate attacks” by Israel
  • Calling for a “humanitarian ceasefire” which was approved in December

They also offered an update on Gaza. The region was characterized by “soaring levels of civilian mortality and morbidity, forced displacements, destruction of essential infrastructure and targeting of the healthcare system.” 

It also gave Palestine a seat on the table without the right to vote.

How IMANA Makes a Difference 

World Health Assembly 2024 was historic but more needs to be done in terms of healthcare. In the words of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, “there cannot be health without peace, and there cannot be peace without health.”

Aside from health promotion, IMANA also:

Offers Mentorship 

Mentorship can have a profound effect on personal development while facilitating the development of knowledge and skills.

We offer a Mentorship Program that helps medical professionals capitalize on the wisdom of experienced practitioners. Mentees get an opportunity to develop their skills while mentors can use their deep knowledge to help and guide younger doctors.

Improve Awareness with Resources

Mental illnesses affect tens of millions of people each year. Statistics show that 1 in 4 adults suffer from a mental disorder in a given year. It is often stigmatized, which creates a barrier to quality care. We help them get the assistance they need by providing a list of resources and a free mental health professionals directory. 

Offer CME 

Continuing Medical Education (CME) facilitates lifelong learning and ensures competent practice. It’s also useful in developing knowledge, skills, behaviors, and improving outcomes. As an accredited provider, you can take courses, conferences, and workshops through IMANA.

Provide Medical Relief

Millions of people around the world are facing health emergencies. IMANA Medical Relief (IMR) responds to those affected by natural disasters and people caught in conflict with the help of an experienced team. 

IMANA currently has an active emergency medical relief program for Gaza. Among our routine work, we have medical and surgical missions to Yemen, Jordan, Pakistan, Nepal and northern Syria, while planning to start surgical work in Guyana too.

Apart from this, IMANA has extensive ongoing healthcare projects in Bangladesh, Uganda, Pakistan, Turkiye, India and Sri Lanka. 

IMANA: Working Hand-in-Hand With the Global Community

World Health Assembly 2024 sheds light on healthcare issues that plague millions of people globally. IMANA’s mission is to address these concerns by helping underserved communities with life-saving humanitarian aid. 

This is possible with your generous support. If you have a cause close to your heart, you can visit our website to make a donation and do your part in making the world a better place.