67th World Health Assembly: IFRC hosted events

19 – 24 May, 2014

During the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies will host, in close collaboration with partners, two critical events:

Fragile States: boosting community systems for an effective health response

When: Monday, 19 May 2014, 18:00–20:00
Where: Ecole hotelière, Restaurant Vieux-Bois, Avenue de la Paix 12, Geneva
What: What role can communities and the community health workforce play in improving access to health services in fragile states?

The event is co-hosted by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance.


  • H.E Dr Suraya Dalil, Minister of Public Health of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Dr Ahmed Mohamed Hassan, President, Somali Red Crescent Society
  • Dr Mark Dybul, Executive Director, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria
  • Dr. Toomas Palu, Sector Manager, Health, Nutrition and Population, East Asia and the Pacific, World Bank
  • Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director, International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Moderator  Dr. Matthias Schmale, Under Secretary General, IFRC

About the event Fragile States bear some of the most significant challenges in safeguarding the health and well-being of affected populations, hindering progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals. These countries account for half of all under-five deaths and one-third of maternal deaths. The proportion of people living with HIV is four times higher in fragile states than other countries. By 2015, it is estimated that 52 per cent of the world’s poor will live in fragile and post-conflict situations.

Strengthening the health response in fragile states is a humanitarian imperative. While many fragile states are supported through international humanitarian agencies, there has been limited success to date in initiating locally-led responses to HIV and other health related challenges and building long-term capacity. The communities and community health workforce bring local expertise, on-the-ground agility and established networks which are responsive to changing circumstances that fragility brings. Leveraging this local capacity, community health workers and volunteers can contribute to sustain primary healthcare services in fragile states, when duly supported and protected.

Invited panelists will share case studies, experiences and operational models that are sustainable, cost-effective, culturally appropriate and innovative.

Follow the event on twitter: #FragileStates #WHA67. For more information, please contact: ombretta.baggio@ifrc.org.

4 Healthy Habits: the IFRC-IFPMA Partnership on Noncommunicable Disease Prevention

When: Monday, 19 May 2014, 18:30–20:30
Where: Intercontinental Hotel, Geneva
What: Successful prevention of Noncommunicable disease largely depends on encouraging people and communities to lead healthy lifestyle.


  • Mr. Eduardo Pisani, Director General, IFPMA
  • Dr. Stefan Seebacher, MD, MPH, MNM, Head, Health Department, IFRC
  • Ms. Fathimath Himya, Senior Programme Ocer-Health, Maldivian Red Crescent
  • Prof. Olivier Desrichard, Professor of Applied Psychology, Geneva University
  • Mr Sameer Pujari, WHO, Be He@lthy, Be Mobile
  • Mr Brad Hutchins, Director of Development & Corporate Foundation Relations, American Academy of Pediatrics, NCD Child

Moderator Richard Jones, Devex

About the event The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations are launching a global initiative, called '4 Healthy Habits'. This innovative partnership will equip Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers with information and tools to change behaviours and promote healthy lifestyles around the world to ultimately reduce the rise of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

The four main NCDs – cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – kill three in five people worldwide, with 80 per cent of NCD-related deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries. While 50 per cent of NCDs are avoidable, they share four main behavioural risk factors: tobacco use, harmful use of alcohol, insucient physical activity, and unhealthy diet and obesity. Successful prevention of these deadly diseases largely depends on encouraging people to lead healthy lifestyles. Community volunteers equipped with the practical, easy-to-use tools have the potential to help reduce these risk factors. Volunteers play an essential role in bridging the last mile between access to healthcare and communities.

For more inform  please contact: ayham.alomari@ifrc.org. Download the invitation for 4 Healthy Habits.

International HIV/AIDS Alliance

Related documents

Fragile states: useful resources

Invitation to the Fragile States side event

Our collaboration with the Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health

Our partnership with the International HIV/AIDS Alliance

International HIV/AIDS Alliance: South Sudan case study

Somalia: the challenges of delivering vital healthcare programmes

Sierra Leone: community health volunteers bring health services to hard to reach communities

Sierra Leone Red Cross: case study

Somali Red Crescent: case study