71st SESSION OF THE REGIONAL COMMITTEE VIRTUAL MEETING 2020
06-09 October 2020
The WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) 71st Session of the Regional Committee Virtual Meeting 2020 held on 06 - 09 October 2020. IPSF APRO delegated three (3) representatives which were Ms. Florensia Rahati Pujiani (IPSF APRO Chairperson 2020-21) and two other outstanding members of the Federation, Mr. Rustam Shariq Mujtaba from NUSPS, Singapore and Mr. Bill Whilson Baljon from FJCPPhA, Philippines that had been through a selection process to be responsible for attending this high-level event.
The WHO WPRO Regional Director, Dr. Takashi Kasai, addressed the recounting of the 70th session’s commitments and thanked all member states for their collaboration. Since 2019, WHO WPRO has endorsed the vision, “For the Future”, to prime and shape WHO WPRO for the next 5 years through its operationalisation slated to start in January 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 situation, WPRO had to adapt and reposition its resources, adopting the WHO Business Continuity Plan moving forward in the near future.
WHO WPRO highlighted their remarkable feat to adapt the COVID-19 situation through technical guidelines and fastidious planning of the region in enacting systems like the Asia-Pacific Strategy for Emerging Diseases (APSED), allowing the Member States to mount a robust and effective pandemic response. WHO WPRO also has identified misinformation and potential ‘infodemics’ as areas to dedicate resources. WHO will conduct a review on their pandemic response, releasing a dossier of its evaluation in 2021.
It was informed that the involvement of WHO in the Member States’s response to the pandemic can be summarized into 7 functions, which are to facilitate information-sharing and keep the Member States and the public informed, assess data and develop guidance, provide technical support to countries, support logistics, coordinate research and development, facilitate partnership, and fight misinformation.
In addition, WHO WPRO Regional Committee Meeting successfully endorsed the Western Pacific Regional Framework for Action for Disaster Risk Management for Health, the Framework for Accelerating Action to Fight Antimicrobial Resistance in the Western Pacific Region and the Regional Framework for Action on Food Safety in the Western Pacific and established Technical Advisory Group (TAG) with sixteen experts from diverse background in the last April 2020 to answer the need for a cross-cutting multidisciplinary approach to address the environmental health issues. WHO WPRO also developed the Regional Strategic Framework for Vaccine-preventable Diseases (VPDs) and Immunization in the Western Pacific (2021–2030) to strengthen and accelerate efforts to combat VPDs, with the aim to make the region free of vaccine-preventable morbidity, mortality and disability towards 2030.