Hundreds of advocates took to social media last week during the #LivesBeforePolitics Twitter rally, reaching over two million people with a simple but desperate message — World Health Assembly, put #LivesBeforePolitics by ensuring accountability and transparency for the World Health Organization and global public health overall!
As expected, COVID-19 and the world’s response to it dominated the virtual Assembly, as health ministers from 194 member states attempted to forge a path to recovery by strengthening international coordination. A highlight of the summit was India’s Dr. Harsh Vardhan taking over as chief of the WHO’s Executive Board on May 22 at its 147th session.
“Dr. Vardhan starting his three-year term as chairman of WHO’s Executive Board is a moment of great pride for India,” said Dr. V. Sam Prasad, Country Program Director for AHF India. “Dr. Vardhan comes with a proven, unshaken resolve and a missionary zeal which led to India’s eradication of Polio. I’m confident that he will shake and steer WHO into a new format with transparency and collaboration to help ensure equity and access for all people regarding healthcare.”
COVID-19 has shown us just how vulnerable all our societies are to deadly infectious disease outbreaks and how lives are lost when our global health bodies are not accountable and transparent. We thank you for your commitment to the #LivesBeforePolitics initiative and hope you’ll stay ready for the next round – last week was just the beginning!