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The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the world's highest health policy setting body. Its main tasks are to decide major public health policy questions, approve the World Health Organization’s work programme and budget, and elect its Director General. Together with our UN partner WSSCC and Wateraid, Essity hosted an event focusing on “Hygiene and Health throughout the Life Course”.
The World Health Assembly (WHA) is the forum through which the World Health Organization (WHO) is governed by its 194 member states and is composed of health ministers from each of these states. Essity took the opportunity to engage with these key policy makers, with the aim of raising hygiene and health standards across the world.
This event was important for Essity as it ties in with increased focus on hygiene and health, providing an opportunity to share knowledge and learn more in the area (e.g. incontinence care and the importance of hand hygiene throughout the life course, particularly in health care settings).
The panel included, amongst others, Kersti Strandqvist, represented Essity, and Olivia Wigzell, Sweden’s representative on the WHO Executive Board and General Director of Sweden’s National Board of Health. Ms Wigzell underlined the importance of building on all sectors’ expertise to improve hygiene and health standards around the globe. She showcased the unique Swedish regulation on hygiene in health and social care settings and how infection control is monitored. Other participants also provided best practice examples on how to tackle hygiene and health challenges in their respective field. For example, Kenya’s Ministry of Health shared their newly adopted Menstrual Hygiene Management policy, addressing safety and quality standard of products, access, provision for waste, disposal and education.
Image..With participants ranging from the Health Minister of Uganda, to government representatives from Germany and numerous UN organizations and NGOs, the meeting was a great step in positioning Essity as an international thought leader in matters relating to health and hygiene. As one participant commented during the event: “The business case should be at the heart of Sustainable Development Goal discussions at the WHA. Private sector allies will be key to achieving these goals…[they]..cannot be achieved without sustainable business models as part of the solutions.”