Over 8000 people, including sports and health champions, join 5th WHO Walk the Talk in Geneva

The fifth edition of Walk the Talk: The Health Challenge for All, organized by the World Health Organization (WHO), was held on Sunday, 26 May 2024, attracting approximately 8000 participants to a healthy kickstart to the Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly.

Place des Nations in Geneva came alive with musical and dance performances led by Sherrie Silver and her Sherrie Silver Foundation Band, including talented young artists from Rwanda, the Italian percussion band Psycodrummers, and dance, yoga and other warm-up activities organized by the Indian and Indonesian missions in Geneva.

The Mayor of Geneva, Alfonso Gomez, officially opened the event in conjunction with Nathalie Fontanet, Geneva Canton Councilor, and Jürg Lauber, Switzerland’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva.

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus presented “Health Champion” awards to Pau Gasol, NBA basketball player and childhood obesity control advocate; World and Olympic 800 metre champion David Rudisha from Kenya; Switzerland’s World and Paralympic Champion Marcel Hug; International Paralympics Committee President Andrew Parsons; and UK Paralympic Champion and disability and inclusivity advocate Susannah Rodgers.

Ministers Chris Tufton of Jamaica and Anne Rabbitte of Ireland, and leaders in universal health coverage, youth tobacco control, immunization and other areas of health spoke at a session dedicated to the advancement of “Health for All”.

At least 8000 participants ran, walked or used their wheelchairs on the 3 km and 4.2 km routes. The enthusiasm and commitment of the participants were palpable, each contributing to promoting health and well-being for all.

Alongside the race, various actors from Geneva’s cultural and sports life, both local and international, were present with activities at the event’s two main locations, Place des Nations and the WHO headquarters campus.

Basketball enthusiasts had the opportunity to perfect their technique at the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) stand, complemented by an intervention from the Gasol Foundation on the link between sport and nutrition. Various organizations, including the University Hospital of Geneva, childhood cancer foundation Zoe 4 Life, and the Jamaican Let’s Move health promotion initiative were among many organizations offering information and activities to promote ways to promote and protect health.

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