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GA at UN: Day 1

September 23, 2019

In preparation for the United Nations High Level Meeting on Universal Health Care (UN HLM-UHC), I had the opportunity to attend a side-event on behalf of the Global Alliance for Behavioral Health and Social Justice: “A World at Risk: Accelerating Global Preparedness for Health Emergencies.” The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (which is co-convened by the WHO and the World Bank Group) released a ‘how to’ guide with clearly described recommendations of actions that leaders ought to take in order to better prepare the world for health emergencies, as serious gaps persist. The report can be downloaded here.

The panelists all agreed that in regard to disaster preparedness, ‘no one is safe, until everyone is safe,’ comprehensive community involvement is necessary (particularly for building trust), and preparedness cannot be siloed, particularly in regard to UHC and the SDGs. Ms. Kitty van der Heijden, the Vice Minister for Foreign Trade and Development, Netherlands stressed the importance of including mental health and psychosocial support within health emergencies and mentioned an upcoming conference the International Conference on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Crisis Situations in October. 

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