Somalia’s Health Minister Elected Vice President at Big Health Meeting

Dr. Ali Hajiadam Abubakar, Somalia’s Minister of Health and Social Welfare, was chosen as one of the five Vice Presidents of the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Frank Anthony from Guyana was picked as the First Vice President.

The other countries with elected vice presidents are Guyana, Moldova, South Korea, and Sri Lanka.

The WHA meets every year at the United Nations in Geneva to talk about global health issues and make important decisions. This year, they are focusing on being ready for pandemics and improving health for mothers and babies. Somalia has a big plan to reduce deaths among mothers and babies.

Dr. Ali Haji Adam said, “I am very honored to be elected as a Vice President of the 77th World Health Assembly. Thank you to all the countries for trusting Somalia’s leadership in global health. This is a big step as we work to improve our health systems.”

Somalia’s proposal shows the country’s strong commitment to global health. The assembly will also discuss changes to the WHO’s International Health Regulations to better prepare for pandemics. One big idea is to give the WHO Director-General the power to declare a “pandemic emergency.”

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, stressed the importance of these talks, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. He believes they can make progress despite some disagreements about sharing pathogen information and technology.

The Somali team, led by Dr. Adam, includes Dr. Guled Abduljalil, Dr. Hussein Muhiyadin, and other health officials.

The World Health Assembly is the WHO’s main decision-making group, with 194 member countries. They meet every May to set goals and policies. The assembly is also a place for countries to share their health achievements and challenges.

Dr. Tedros mentioned some big successes over the past year, like reducing tobacco use and improving road safety, nutrition, and vaccination rates. He also talked about ongoing issues, like the need for better financial protection in healthcare and dealing with the health effects of climate change.

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