Non-Communicable Diseases, Social Determinants of Health and Poliomyelitis

Day 4 and 5 of the WHO Executive Board Meeting, and IFMSA took the stage. With Non-Communicable Diseases up on the agenda, the IFMSA brought a statement to the floor on this pressing issue. The UN High-Level Summit in New York last September did not meet all expectations with some vital, key areas still unaddressed. We called upon the member  states to

1) call for time-bound commitments and hard indicators towards NCDs,

2) to not isolate NCDs from other encompassing discussions on health systems strengthening and social determinants of health

3) acknowledge the potential influence of marketing and industry on NCD policies, and finally

4) to involve the youth in these processes, as it will be them who will continue the legacy of what is decided upon today.

The statement received positive resonance within both the civil society and the member states.

Furthermore we set personal meetings with the World Medical Association and the WHO Department for Social Determinants of Health to discuss our plans for the upcoming World Health Assembly in May.

Another very interesting agenda point was about poliomyelitis. It is clear now that the anticipated goal of eradicating poliomyelitis by 2012. Small areas of outbreaks have still been defined in Nigeria and Pakistan. Member states have agreed on prolonging the eradication program by 2013. Dr. Margaret Chan’s pledge to the executive board: “Let’s get the job done!”

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