World Health Assembly 2019–‘Global Action Plan for healthy lives and well-being for All’

  1. This global action plan was initiated by Germany and Norway but developed and supported by a cluster of multilateral agencies, focused on implementation of SDG 3. See here for the full document and here for the summary.
  2. Primary driver: the sharp bend in the trend-line needed if the indicators for SDG 3 are to be achieved. For example, an estimated 800 million in the WHO SEARO region are vulnerable to severe financial stress from out-of-pocket health expenditures. 
  3. In the bottom group of less developed countries, health expenditure is estimated to be around 10% of what it needs to be by 2030 to achieve SDG 3, a gap of US $180 billion. A World Bank presentation suggested the major factors to change this picture will be the following:
    • shift of country expenditure from lower priority items;
    • investment in innovation; and
    • doubling of health-related aid.
  4. The key task during current consultation phase (until September 2019) is to identify accelerators – joint actions that are expected to accelerate progress and remove obstacles.
  5. Presentations from Ghana, Colombia and Nepal highlighted some of the challenges:
    • Sustaining achievement beyond the initial burst of enthusiasm and funding;
    • Inequality, so focusing on median will not be good enough — disaggregated data is needed;
    • Effective social protection (e.g. health insurance) systems;
    • Weak Human Resources capacity;
    • Political structural decisions that make some indicators go backwards; and
    • Inadequate data and data collection.
  6. There is a representative civil society advisory group which calls for clear communication and consultancy and reminds everyone that civil society will have a crucial role when it comes to implementation.