Somalia’s Health Minister Ascends to Vice Presidency at Global Health Summit

In Geneva, Switzerland, Dr. Ali Hajiadam Abubakar from Somalia was chosen as one of the five Vice Presidents of the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA). Alongside him, Dr. Frank Anthony from Guyana was elected as the First Vice President.

Other countries elected as vice presidents include Moldova, the Republic of Korea, and Sri Lanka. The WHA meets annually at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva to discuss global health issues. This year’s main focuses are pandemic readiness and maternal and infant health. Somalia, in particular, aims to reduce maternal and infant mortality.

Dr. Ali Haji Adam expressed his gratitude for being elected as the Deputy President of the 77th WHA. He thanked member states for trusting Somalia’s leadership in global health initiatives. Somalia’s proposal showcases their dedication to global health concerns, with discussions on amendments to the WHO’s International Health Regulations for enhanced pandemic preparedness.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, highlighted the importance of these discussions as nations recover from the challenges posed by COVID-19. Despite setbacks in establishing a pandemic treaty, Dr. Tedros remains optimistic about finding a way forward.

The Somali delegation, headed by Dr. Adam, includes various health officials. The World Health Assembly, consisting of 194 member states, gathers annually to set priorities and policies for the WHO. Dr. Tedros reported on global health achievements in the past year, focusing on reductions in tobacco use and improvements in road safety, nutrition, and vaccination coverage. Challenges still remain, including the need for better financial protection in healthcare and addressing the impact of climate change on health.

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