Back to top

Rheumatic heart disease at the WHO Regional Meetings: EMRO

24 October 2017

Representatives from RHD Action continued to push for action to tackle rheumatic heart disease (RHD) at the 64th session of the WHO Regional Committee for the Eastern Mediterranean (EMRO), which was held in Islamabad, Pakistan. 

RHD remains prevalent in many countries in the region, particularly among populations living in conditions of poverty and overcrowding.

The meeting also focused strongly on the need for greater action on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs), as WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced the establishment of a High-level global Commission on NCDs, to be chaired by Dr Sania Nishtar.

RHD and Adolescent Health
Taking place annually, the regional meetings are held to determine regional health policy and to approve programmes of work. Each of the six meetings is guided by a specific agenda.

Represented by the World Heart Federation, delegates delivered a policy statement that highlighted the importance of addressing rheumatic fever and RHD as part of strategies to improve adolescent health in the region. 

The statement also highlighted the importance of the upcoming Member State discussion regarding a global Resolution on rheumatic fever and RHD at the World Health Assembly in 2018, and called on Member States to endorse this piece of global policy.

Looking Ahead
Another topic that featured strongly in discussions throughout the regional meetings was the development of WHO’s 13th General Programme of Work. This strategy document is scheduled to be discussed at the next Executive Board meeting, with a view to being adopted at the 71st World Health Assembly in May 2018.

You can read RHD Action’s policy statements delivered at the regional meetings here.