H.E. Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki to attend 71st World Health Assembly


H.E. Mrs Toyin Saraki is to attend the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva this week, accepting an invitation from the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO), of which she is Special Advisor to the Independent Advisory Group (IAG).

Ministers of Health and other delegates from WHO’s 194 Member States will meet to discuss pressing health issues and the 13th General Programme of Work, which is WHO’s 5-year strategic plan to help countries meet the health targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

 In addition to official WHO business, Mrs Saraki - who is attending the Assembly for the second consecutive year - is scheduled to headline the ‘Leading the Way for Midwives’ event organized by the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) on Wednesday 23rd May, and undertake meetings on Transformative Approaches to Health Workforce Education, Training and Skills; Universal Health Coverage; Global Health Security and non-communicable diseases; amongst others.

Mrs Saraki, who is also Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Global Champion for Universal Health Coverage and the Global Goodwill Ambassador of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) commented in advance of the World Health Assembly:

"I welcome the ambitious agenda promoted by WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, which aims to save 29 million lives by 2023. I will be fulfilling my advisory and advocacy roles in support of that agenda, as well as championing midwives leading the way with quality of care; improved water, sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities, and pushing for universal health coverage to be fully implemented by every country."

"The latest edition of the World Health Statistics, published last week, demonstrates that despite significant progress too many people are being pushed into poverty by health costs and dying of preventable diseases. Especially in the context of the recent new outbreak of Ebola, we have to be ambitious, bold and innovative in our responses to health challenges."

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