The Regional Director elect for WHO SEARO delivered a speech on Institutionalizing Social Participation at the NHA 16, Thailand
On December 21,2023, Ms. Saima Wazed, the Regional Director-elect for WHO South-East Asia and the Chairperson of Shuchona Foundation delivered the speech on Institutionalizing Social Participation for Health and Well Being at the 16th National Health Assembly 16 (NHA 16) of Thailand at the Centra by Centara Government Complex Convention Centre.
The National Health Commission Office convenes the National Health Assembly annually to discuss critical health related issues and collectively find solutions among the government, academia, civil societies, private sector and youth. This year, the NHA 16 was organized with the theme of health equity.
From Left to Right: The RD elect, the President of NHA 16 and the Deputy Prime Minister
Ms. Wazed, the newly appointed Regional Director who will take office on 1 February 2024, emphasized that the NHA is a significant social mechanism to facilitate evidence-based policy making, with emphasis on inclusive participation. This collaborative and participatory model leads to durable outcomes because it listens to grassroots communities and people with lived experiences. She also highlighted that the social participation approach like the NHA reduces health inequalities and empowers the voices of vulnerable communities in health decision-making processes. These can be pivotal in developing and implementing more equitable health policies and plans.
Ms. Wazed excerpted the article from the BMJ Global Health journal which published an analysis of this Assembly in 2019 that the NHA advanced a qualitative policy dialogue. The power of stakeholder groups coming together has been harnessed in the NHA process and has helped foster dialogue through understanding and respect for very diﬀering takes on the same issue.
More than 2000 participants attended the NHA 16 both onsite and online.
To watch the delivering the speech, click here
To read about the NHA 16, click here