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WFSA’s official statements to the World Health Organisation in 2021

As a non-state actor in official relations with the WHO, WFSA represents its member societies and the wider anaesthesia community at WHO’s regional and global meetings. In 2021, WFSA participated in six such meetings, presenting nine statements.

148th WHO Executive Board, 18-26 January 2021

Agenda Item 5. Global action on patient safety

Welcoming the adoption of the Health Worker Safety Charter, WFSA highlighted the importance of maintaining healthcare workers’ wellbeing and the need to implement national action plans which embed and promote patient safety-focused practices.

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Agenda Item 9. Antimicrobial resistance

To combat rising AMR, WFSA called on member states to employ evidence-based approaches to the perioperative use of antibiotics and the adoption of WHO AMR recommendations, including the WHO Model List of Essential Medicines.

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Agenda Item 14. Public health emergencies: preparedness and response

WFSA’s statement highlighted the importance of national anaesthesia plans to drive investment into the anaesthesia workforce and practices.

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74th World Health Assembly, 24-31 May 2021

Prof Christina Lundgren presenting at 74th WHA

Agenda Item 15: Working for health: a five-year action plan for health employment and inclusive economic growth (2017–2021).

WFSA urged member states to implement national anaesthesia plans that address chronic underinvestment in the anaesthesia workforce. Universal Health Coverage will only be possible if anaesthesia workforce shortages are addressed.

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Agenda item 13.1: Global action on patient safety

WFSA’s position during this discussion was to emphasise the need to embed patient safety into clinical practice and standards. WFSA called on member states to prioritise healthcare workers’ professional well-being and implement the recommendations of the WHO-WFSA International Standards.

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71st WHO Regional Committee for Africa, 24- 26 August 2021

Agenda item 13. The Global strategy on digital health in the WHO African Region

Dr Phillipe Mavoungou presented at the 71st WHO AFRO meeting

Recognising the positive impact that digital health solutions have had on improving access to services and quality of care, WFSA called on WHO and members states to invest in digital technology that could be used to strengthen training and health care provision.

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71st WHO Regional Committee for Europe, 13 -15 September 2021

Agenda item 7. The Mental Health Coalition: building an economy of well-being

To inform the discussions on strengthening mental health services, WFSA’s highlighted the importance of prioritising health workers’ occupational well-being to ensure that they are mentally and physically able to continue to provide a high standard of patient care. WFSA urged member states to develop and support the implementation of workplace programmes that promote mental health and occupational well-being.

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72nd WHO Regional Committee of the Western Pacific, 25-29 October 2021

Dr Wayne Morriss’s statement at the WHO Western Pacific Meeting.

Agenda item 10. COVID-19

Strengthening the region’s anaesthesia workforce through national policies which address chronic underinvestment and professional wellbeing is vital to enable an effective response to COVID-19 and beyond.

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Special session of World Health Assembly, 29 November – 1 December 2021

Agenda item 2: A Convention on Strengthening WHO Preparedness and Response to Health Emergencies

WFSA’s statement highlighted the centrality of anaesthesia’s role in responding to and recovering from global health emergencies.

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Further Resources

WFSA’s Advocacy Approach