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IAPO's policy work in 2012
by IAPO at 6:31PM Tuesday 04 December 2012 (News)

In 2012, IAPO continued to work on priority policy areas such as non-communicable diseases (NCDs), patient safety, World Health Organization (WHO) reform and health systems strengthening. This year, we also launched IAPO’s policy webinars, which provide an opportunity for members to learn more and feed into IAPO’s policy work.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
September 2012 marked the one year anniversary since the United Nations (UN) High-Level Meeting on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases. At this event, a Political Declaration on NCDs was adopted which provided a clear mandate for action against NCDs.

In May this year, the World Health Assembly adopted a target to reduce mortality from NCDs by 25% by 2025. IAPO welcomed the adoption of the target and belives that it demonstrates strong political will to take action on NCDs. Since then, IAPO has been working on a number of areas of WHO’s NCD strategy including responding to consultations on WHO’s NCD Action Plan, on the role of multisectoral partnerships in tackling NCDs and on the global monitoring framework. In all of these consultations, IAPO has emphasised the importance of involving patients in all policies and strategies to prevent and manage NCDs, highlighting the essential work of our members in providing treatment and care to patients.

Patient safety
IAPO continues to sit on the steering committee for WHO’s Patients for Patient Safety (PFPS) programme. In March, IAPO held a PFPS side meeting at the 5th Global Patients Congress, which brought together IAPO members and WHO representatives to discuss patient safety initiatives in Africa and globally. In June, IAPO held a seminar in Mexico City, Mexico where Patient Safety Champion, Evangelina Vazquez Curiel, shared her experiences of advocating for patient safety in Mexico and Latin America.

At the World Health Assembly in May, IAPO made an intervention on counterfeit medical products, calling for action to protect patients from unsafe medicines and medical devices. At the Assembly, Member States approved a draft resolution on a new Member State mechanism which proposed international cooperation on counterfeit medical products.

Health systems strengthening
2012 has seen growing support from Member States for universal health coverage as well as increased discussion on the need for health systems to adapt and change to cope with the increasing burden of chronic disease and an ageing population. Experts in this field have highlighted the value of involving a range of stakeholders and the importance of focusing on the person, not the disease. IAPO is supportive of this position and will be following policy developments in this area.

WHO reform
This year, WHO has been considering how it will reform to ensure it is effective and sustainable. WHO has developed a discussion paper on its 12th General Programme of Work (GPW) which will cover the years 2014-19. IAPO has responded to a consultation on this discussion paper, following consultation with its membership.

WHO is also considering how it engages with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and its relationships with private commercial entities. IAPO has been engaged in these discussions and a draft policy will be put forward to WHO’s Executive Board in 2013.

What next?
IAPO will continue to advocate on these key areas as well as look for further opportunities to provide the patient voice on issues of importance to our members. If you would like more information about IAPO's policy work please contact: rachel@patientsorganizations.org.

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