The 64th World Health Assembly (WHA) has adopted a resolution on drinking-water, sanitation and health, and two other related resolutions on cholera and Guinea worm (dracunculiasis).
Yael Velleman at the WHA in Geneva with a copy of the WaterAid report "The sanitation problem - What can and should the health sector do". Photo: WaterAid
WaterAid had issued a call to leaders participating in the WHA in Geneva to prioritise sanitation and water in the fight against diseases including cholera and dracunculiasis. In support of their campaign, WaterAid published a new report
The sanitation problem: What can and should the health sector do?. WaterAid’s Senior Health Policy Analyst Yael Velleman wrote an opinion piece in the Guardian and posted daily updates from the WHA.
WaterAid was able to get WASH issues on the agenda at the 2010 World Health Assembly, reports policy researcher Yael Velleman.
A text drafted by WaterAid on the role of access to WASH in preventing child under-nutrition was inserted word-for-word into the WHO resolution on Infant and Young Child Nutrition. Prior to this, neither the resolution nor the WHO Secretariat report which informed it contained any reference to WASH, Velleman says.
WaterAid was participating in the 63rd World Health Assembly as part of the NGO delegation, comprised of World Vision, Save the Children, Oxfam, Action for Global Health and VSO.
The NGO delegation hosted a side event addressing equity in access to healthcare services. WaterAid presented a flyer on their forthcoming report “The sanitation problem: what can and should the health sector do?”
WaterAid hopes that discussions on sanitation and water will be included, for the first time, on the official agenda of the next World Health Assembly.
Source: Serena O’Sullivan, End Water Poverty blog, 27 May 2010