Mexico Commits to Global Health GoalsBy Sofía Garduño | Tue, 05/24/2022 - 13:29
The 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) was inaugurated on May 22, 2022, and will run till May 28, 2022. This year’s edition calls for health for peace and peace for health. Member States will discuss topics related to the importance of strengthening preparedness to respond to health emergencies. Mexico made use of the forum to share its outlook on public health after the pandemic.
“Mexico’s government boosts the transformation of the public life guided by 2 main principles: the aspiration of eliminating structural corruption and the effort to separate the public power from the economic one to promote, protect and defend the public interest,” said Hugo López-Gatell, Mexico’s Health Deputy Minister, at the WHA.
Exploitation prevention, sexual harassment and poliomyelitis are some of the topics that will be discussed at the event. To exchange perspectives and reach agreements around these topics, deputies from all member states are invited, including López-Gatell. He remarked that the pandemic taught Mexico three big lessons. First, that chronic diseases are the main risk factors associated with severe COVID-19 cases. In Mexico, 25 percent of the population suffers from hypertension and, from those diagnosed, about 20 percent lack access to medical treatment, according to INSP. Regarding diabetes, in 2020, 151,019 people died of this disease and related complications, which represents 14 percent of the total deaths that year. This put diabetes as the third cause of death of the year after COVID-19 and heart diseases, as reported by INEGI.
As the second lesson, social and economic gaps must be closed to guarantee that communities resist sanitary crises, Gatell highlighted. According to the World Bank, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically affected low-income households. This situation has increased inequality as richer households will experience a faster economic recovery after the pandemic.
Finally, Lopéz-Gatell said that free, universal health systems are indispensable to guarantee social wellness. Most states in the country are federalizing their health systems to affiliate to the IMSS-Bienestar program, which aims to offer health services to all the population regardless of their social security status.
“Mexico is at the disposition of WHO and the global community to share its experiences, challenges and successes with the intention of building bridges of solidarity and collaboration that will help us reach common goals to the benefit of our populations,” he concluded.
WHO has remarked the importance of this assembly given the roadblocks that COVID-19 brought to the achievement of the 2030 global agenda. For a sustainable recovery, the international community will have to evaluate its priorities and focus on high impact interventions, according to Tedros Adhamon, Director, WHO.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and other health emergencies with international reach have highlighted the leadership and coordinating role of WHO in responding to such events. Strengthening preparedness for and response to health emergencies are a key theme of the Health Assembly,” says WHO.