On May 5th, 2017, G4 Alliance members convened in DC for the annual Health and Human Services Listening Session. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the department charged with leading the United States delegation to the 70th World Health Assembly (WHA), holds these informal sessions to facilitate a dialogue with all stakeholders in the global health community in order to collect input on what items will be on the agenda at the World Health Assembly. These sessions are a valuable opportunity to influence the global health development agenda for the upcoming year.
Our member network was well-represented this year, with our delegates delivering nine separate statements throughout the session focusing on various WHA agenda topics that relate to surgical and anaesthesia care.
A copy of the 70th WHA agenda can be found here.
G4 members presented several key facts to United States officials:
5 billion people lack access to safe affordable surgical and anaesthesia care around the world.
Surgical care is a cost-effective and cross-cutting health service that treats a broad range of conditions and diseases.
Without investment in surgical care, millions will suffer needless deaths, disabilities, and related financial catastrophe each year.
Based upon these facts, G4 members urged the United States Delegation to the WHA to:
- Support a decision point presented by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia, asking the Director General to review and report every third year after 2017 to the WHA on global progress of implementation of Resolution WHA 68.15 until 2030.
Prioritize safe surgical care and anaesthesia in discussions with fellow country delegations.
Express the United State’s support of surgical and anaesthesia care to all Director General candidates and encourage them to commit to supporting a robust and adequately-funded WHO Emergency and Essential Surgical Care Program.
Read our full statement from the HHS Listening Session here.
In two weeks, the G4 Alliance will take this message to global health leaders in Geneva, Switzerland as we host our 1st Member Permanent Council Meeting and send a delegation of representatives to attend the 70th World Health Assembly.
On May 22nd, in partnership with GE Foundation and Safe Surgery 2020, we will be hosting an advocacy side event entitled: “From Commitment to Action: Partnerships to Strengthen Surgical and Anaesthesia Care For All.” Two years after WHA Resolution 68.15 was passed, prioritizing the role of surgical and anaesthesia care as part of universal health coverage, we are convening a group of global leaders to discuss progress towards fulfilling this resolution, challenges faced by the global health community and the importance of partnership and collaboration. This side event will feature special remarks from ministers of health taking action to implement national surgical and anaesthesia care plans, as well as the civil society partners who are helping to strengthen surgical and anaesthesia care.
Whether it’s on the national or international level, advocacy is the heart of the mission of the G4 Alliance. Thank you to our members who were ready to stand up and speak for surgery, obstetric, trauma and anaesthesia care to United States policy makers, and thank you to our members who stand and speak for these causes each and every day!