Final day of the World Health Assembly: highlights for the European Region

The World Health Assembly closed on 26 May 2015. Three new resolutions were passed on the final day: one on air pollution, one on epilepsy and one laying out the next steps in finalizing a framework of engagement with non-State actors.

  • In discussions on a progress report on promoting health through the life-course, Iceland spoke on behalf of the Nordic countries, urging WHO to step up its work on social determinants and health equity. The United Kingdom spoke about the work done by WHO/Europe on addressing social determinants, including the Marmot Review on social determinants and the health divide and work on sustainable health financing. 
  • Referring to agenda items on noncommunicable diseases – on mental health, autism spectrum disorders and disabling hearing loss – Iceland expressed its appreciation for the set of indicators that had been developed but requested greater emphasis on data collection. 
  • Azerbaijan described how it is implementing a national mental health strategy and plan, working towards decreasing stigmatization and adopting new protocols at the primary care level. Thanking WHO for its assistance, Azerbaijan explained that its approach was multisectoral, with a special focus on children with special needs.
  • Discussing the issue of hearing loss, the Russian Federation explained that it undertakes hearing screening for newborns, and the United Kingdom noted that the strategy is in line with its national plan.