21 MAY 2010 | GENEVA

The 63rd World Health Assembly, which brought together Health Ministers and senior health officials from the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Member States, concluded business and closed Friday evening.

"You reached agreement on some items that are a real gift to public health, everywhere. Thanks to some all-night efforts, we now have a code of practice on the international recruitment of health personnel," said Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General. "In addition, you have given public health a policy instrument and guidance for tackling one of the world’s fastest growing and most alarming health problems. This is the rise of chronic noncommunicable diseases, like cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease."

The delegates adopted resolutions on a variety of global health issues, including a resolution on World Hepatitis Day on 28 July. Viral hepatitis, a combination of diseases that are estimated to kill over one million people each year, and an estimated 1 in 12 persons are currently infected and have to face a life with liver disease if unrecognised. This endorsement by member states calls for WHO to develop a comprehensive approach to the prevention and control of these diseases.

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