Building a Healthier World: Key Takeaways from the 77th World Health Assembly

The Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly (#WHA77) took place from 27 May to 1 June under the theme “All for Health, Health for All.” The assembly focused on critical global health challenges, the role of health workers in shaping public health strategies, and the work of the WHO Secretariat.

Throughout the assembly, there was a recurring emphasis on the importance of health workers as the foundation of strong health systems. Multiple side events highlighted the need to support health workers, particularly those at the community level, who are often inadequately integrated into the health system.

Living Goods co-hosted the “Innovate, Invest, Empower, Protect: A Symposium for Shaping the Future of the Health Workforce” alongside Frontline Health Workers Coalition, and the Community Health Impact Coalition, stressing the importance of creating a conducive environment for all health workers, especially those at the community level.

Jules Gaye, Living Goods’ Burkina Faso Country Director

Jules Gaye, Living Goods’ Burkina Faso Country Director during the panel.

Jules Gaye, Living Goods’ Burkina Faso Country Director, noted, “Our experience has shown that with government commitment and leadership, paired with strong supportive partners, sustainable gains in strengthening a digitized health workforce can be achieved, saving lives in the process.”

This underscores the necessity for continuous investment and innovation in health workforce development including community health workers.

Discussions also addressed the need for better donor alignment among major organizations due to constrained resources for global health. The assembly approved WHO’s 2025–2028 strategy, GPW 14, which aims to address health-related implications of megatrends such as climate change, aging, migration, and advances in science and technology.

WHO is looking to raise $11.1 billion for its work over the next four years. This effort marks a significant shift towards seeking stability and flexibility in funding, reducing the oversized role of donors in decision-making.

Climate change and health were also key topics, with the assembly adopting the Climate Change and Health Resolution, marking the first-time climate change has been prioritized by the WHO and its member states.

The resolution “Underscores the need to prepare and manage health sector needs for averting, minimizing and responding to loss and damage to help to protect and strengthen the resilience of individuals, communities, the workforce, livelihoods, and ecosystems in the face of climate change.”

CHWs at the launch of the revamped program.

File photo: CHWs at the launch of the revamped program.

Community health workers are already playing a critical role in addressing the effects of climate change by building community resilience and mitigating health impacts on last-mile communities.

Another pivotal moment during the assembly was the agreement on amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) and a commitment to complete pandemic agreement talks within a year.

A landmark resolution on social participation in national health planning and implementation was approved, enabling people, communities, and civil society to have a stronger voice in decisions affecting their health and well-being.

Overall, the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly underscored the essential role of health workers and the need for robust, well-funded health systems. The discussions and resolutions from this assembly will guide global health strategies in the coming years, aiming to create a more equitable and resilient health landscape.

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