An ambitious health plan of the world’s highest health policy setting body, the World Health Assembly (WHA), has been unveiled.

The plan made public on Monday aims at benefiting an overall population of three billion globally for the next five years with better health care.

The WHA is the forum through which the WHO is governed by its 194 member states. Members are health Ministers from member states.

Entitled 13th General Program of Work, the plan was reviewed and passed during the first day of the Seventh WHA, which kicked off in Geneva on Monday, to guide the work of the WHO from 2019 to 2023.

It sets three strategic priorities to ensure healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages:

These are:

1. To help one billion more people benefit from universal health coverage;

2. One billion more people to be better protected from health emergencies;

3. And one billion more people enjoying better health and well-being.

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In his opening speech at the event, WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, defined three keys behind the triple-billion targets.

First is a strong WHO and leadership team that’s more efficient and effective in its business practices; then the political commitment from governments, as “with buy-in from the highest levels, anything is possible,”; and third is an “even`deeper and stronger” partnership “in whatever way we can to achieve our goal".

Though the latest WHO annual report on the state of the world’s health, which was released on Thursday, highlighted remarkable progress in pushing forward the UN Sustainable Development Goals in some areas, it also warned that the progress has stalled and the gains already made could be easily lost.

The report underlined that still less than half the people in the world today get all of the health services they need.

The WHO also said that almost 100 million people were pushed into extreme poverty in 2010 due to health service bills; that 13 million people die every year before the age of 70 from cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes and cancer, mostly in low and middle-income countries; and that every day in 2016, 15,000 children died before reaching their fifth birthday.

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“This is unacceptable,” Dr. Tedros said, which is why “We are transforming how we work to achieve our vision of a world in winch health is a right for all. We are changing the way we do business.”

To fulfill the triple-billion plan, the WHO has vowed to step up leadership at all levels, drive impact in every country, and focus global public goods on impact. 

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