Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly – Daily update: 29 May 2024

First-ever resolution on social participation for primary health care approved

Member States have agreed on a resolution on social participation in national health planning and implementation, which paves the way for people, communities, and civil society to have a stronger voice in influencing the decisions that affect their health and well-being.

The resolution aims to tackle health inequities and the erosion of trust in health systems, which is crucial in the face of the unprecedented challenges the world is facing such as climate change, conflicts, and pandemic threats.

Growing evidence shows the transformative potential of social participation to foster trust in health systems, advance equity and align healthcare with people’s lived experiences. Two-way dialogues between government and the people they serve can lead to health policies, strategies and services that are more responsive to people’s needs, particularly those in vulnerable and marginalized situations.

The new resolution recognizes this potential. Its implementation will involve regular and sustained national participatory mechanisms, such as dialogues or consultations and policies that reflect the recommendations generated from these participatory processes.

WHO will continue to work with Member States in implementing this resolution by developing technical guidance and operational tools; offering capacity building support; and documenting and facilitating the sharing of country experiences. WHO is also tasked with reporting progress to the Health Assembly in 2026, 2028 and 2030.

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